‘Stops’ and search at Stormont shocker!

25 02 2009

Staff at Bobballs are admirers of power-sharing. Devolved government should be about trust. Yes, it’s about building consensus and going the extra mile to make accommodations. It’s about conducting open dialogue in an environment that promotes mutual exchange…

… oh, and it’s also about having officials following a predetermined route of ‘stops’ to inspect your room every hour of the day to see what people are doing!

That’s according to a strangely imperious internal admin email that’s circulating around Stormont at the moment. Things are getting a bit intense on the hill. Email as below…


Strategic Accommodation Review

You will be aware that Properties Directorate have begun a strategic review of the accommodation needs of the Assembly. The space utilisation study will begin on Wednesday 25th February and continue until 10th March 2009. The study will look at the working life of the organisation following a predetermined route of ‘stops’ to look at rooms. Observers will walk the route and check rooms every hour (sic) during the 10 days. An information sheet giving further details of the study can be found by clicking on the link below http://assist.assemblyni.gov.uk/services/ok/works/Accommodation_Information_Sheet.doc

Observers will be as unobtrusive as possible and will knock before entering a room.

Information about the review will be updated regularly on AssISt but if you require further details please speak to your directorate/business area representative on the steering group or contact David Lynn on 21346.

Issued on behalf of Properties Directorate


So the plan is, in effect, to have civil servants walk around in circles for 10 days?

Stern officials with clipboards roaming the maze of administrative corridors – this has got a kind of Kafka-eqsue tinge to it. And I love the Birt-speak murkiness of it as well: ‘Space utilisation study’ (human translation: ‘A Big Hoak!’)

But can someone tell us why this intensive/invasive approach is necessary? What are they looking for? But, more importantly, what are the costs are behind this ‘space utilisation study’?
How many man hours are to be expended by civil servants on walking around in circles for 10 days? And what is the opportunity cost of having them employed doing this – or in other words, are there no actual jobs that these guys could be doing which will now be left undone while they perform the essential task of knocking on doors every hour?
Sadly we can’t access the AssIST links as these are from the Assembly intranet – but I’m sure someone in the building could enlighten us.
In fairness, the poor gits who get sent off to walk around Stormont for 10 days would probably want to be better employed. Is this really the best, most efficient use of resources? Is this really great management? I doubt it on the basis of this email.
But, of course, we accept there’s more information to which we’re unsighted. Perhaps there’s a perfectly rational explanation for what looks like an old-fashioned case of wastage and logic-bending Sir Humphrey-ism?
PS. This job description offers details on where the directorate fits into things. [And I can’t bear the way blogger flat out refuses to format posts properly. There ought to be lots of pleasing par breaks in the above, but darn it if blogger won’t play ball…]



4 responses

27 02 2009
Keith Anderson

sounds like a suicide watch imho.

8 03 2009
Staff at Bobballs

Mmmm… sounds about right. I once worked in that big building and do confess to the odd ‘forchrissakes-what’s-it-all-for/goodbye-cruel-world’ internal debate meself. Then the occasion bit of politics would break out in the Assembly chamber and i’d come in off the window ledge.

12 03 2009

I believe the shinners call that the sick building syndrome, you secret Irish republican you!

17 03 2009

I’m a trifle worried about Staffs at Bobballs – have they all been carted away for 30 day detention under this new draconian ‘stop and search’ policy?

It’s sure been a while since we heard from them…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: