As systems thinker John Seddon is fond of saying(normally about shambolic cock-ups in localgovernment and the public sector generally), ‘youcouldn’t make it up’.Well John finds himself in the thick of it again,following
. In caseyou haven’t been following it (and haven’t got time to go there now)this is what he said (in brief):
The Audit Commission should be abolished. All it doesis to foster compliance with arbitrary standards ratherthan actual improvement. Public services aren’t getting better and the Commission isn’t helping. That’s becausetargets make things worse – public servants focus theirattention on pleasing the inspectors (in this case theAudit Commission) rather than on their customers – youand me. Getting rid of them would save not only all theCommission’s costs and salaries but all the time andmoney spent by Public Sector organisations gettingready for inspections.One example is their belief in ‘shared back offices’,which is unsupported by any evidence and which, infact, drive costs up rather than down.