reply to post by BomSquad
Obviously this is no surprise. It is in reality, much worse than simply redundant programs.
Governments (like many large corporations) are based on an incremental budget model, which suggests that every year the budget will increase by some
given amount. In the corporate world, firms that practice this model have the incremental budget increase when ever the firm is within a certain
range of their annual growth projection, say +/- 3%. Now if the firm does not hit that target, say - 4 to 5 % their budgets might be flat. Below
that and the budgets might be cut.
The folk who do the forecasting are pretty good, so typically the budgets increase every year. At the end of the year, folks scramble to spend the
balance of their budgets so that they will have even more money in the subsequent year. In both the government and corporate worlds, budget dollars
= power. Third party providers, like IBM are highly incented to facilite this as they are compensated on an annual basis, so they will do amazing
things to book sales prior to the end of the year. Accountants on both side work like dogs to see how much can be brought forward to the current
calandar year to be booked to meet the budget limits.
Firms that are well managed do a $0 based budget, meaning each year your budget is $0 and every dollar has to be rejustified. This might be done
every two years, but the concept is the same. You have to quantitatively demonstrate why you need cash for people, infrastructure, everything.
Firms like this deliver rewards and power to executives who can run within quality ranges on less money. You get a larger bonus when you turn money
back to the corporation. It is exactly the opposite.
The government obviously uses the incremental budget model. Nothing in the government is ever $0 based. Where the problem gets worse is that there
is no shared infrastructure within the government. There are common functions all over the government that are duplicative, regardless of whether
the functions within the departments they support are duplicative. Examples include things like call centers, data centers, fullfillment, both print
and web, networks. Hundreds of billions of dollars spent duplicating operational functions where some reasonable systems development could provide
the infrastructure to deliver common infrastructure which differentiates as the functions differentiate.
If you moved to a $0 based budgeting model on a bi-annual basis and put a team of world class private sector folks on consolidating infrastructure you
would save hundreds of billions/year. The common infrastructure should obviously be outsourced (not off-shored, but given to a private sector
company to run). Running a network or a data center is in no way a core competency of the government, yet we run thousands. The outsource provider
has every reason to consolidate the infrastructure as it improves their margins. Outsourcing it also takes those employees off the government books,
eliminating the need to provide for pensions, medical, etc. Does that mean that the folks lose those benefits? Absolutely not. Providing those
benefits to employees who move from the government to a private sector firm could be a mandate within the contract. Believe me - there is so much
waste within the government that a private company would eliminate that they could still make a healthy margin. Would a ton of jobs be made
redundant and eliminated? No doubt, but that is the fault of the government, not the private party. Its the government's fault because those are
folks who should not have been hired in the first place.
This is not rocket science. It is competent management and the lack of it is why most folks think the management of the government is wholly
incompetent. They think it is because it is. It is because they are spending your money and as long as you're working and sending these jokers
cash every payday, there is an endless supply of it.