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The BBC is not alone when it comes to


expensive, yet poor, management. Whenever the public sector is challenged over high executive pay, they always respond by saying it’s to ensure they attract and retain talented executives. Frankly, I tire of that clichéd mantra; while it may have been the case in the past, it isn’t anymore. The fact is, most of them are mediocre at best and some so utterly incompetent their management and oversight has led to some disastrous outcomes. Detailed here are a few small examples of some of the more jaw dropping. Take HS2. The chief


executive is paid a staggering £625,000 per year. Yet this allegedly talented manager has seen the project he’s in charge of delayed by seven years and the costs risen threefold from £34bn to £106bn. If HS2 was a private enterprise, it would be bankrupt before a single journey took place. Next, the Highways Agency, whose chief


executive is paid around £335,000 per year. However, despite clear warnings and concerns over the dangers of so called ‘smart motorways’ decided to forge ahead with them anyway. To date 38 people have been killed as a result of their decision to implement the deadly scheme. Next, we have education. The


average salary of a university vice chancellor is £250,000 per year. Yet many universities have been criticised for luring students with unconditional offers to study “half- baked” degree courses which aren’t professionally accredited, thus making it harder for students to get work. Furthermore, many universities seemingly have little interest in the employability of their graduates, since they receive the fees regardless of whether the student pays off their loan. Not exactly the strategy, outcome or return on investment one would expect from a highly paid specialist in charge of delivering quality higher education to


Ability Needs Magazine


the nation’s youth. Then we have the NHS. Our ‘envy of the


world’ is sadly one of the worst offenders when it comes to poor management. Wasting taxpayer’s money is bad enough, but in the case of healthcare, bad management can cost lives too. I could fill an entire edition of the Magazine with examples of dire and deadly NHS mismanagement, but will just mention two. Firstly, a manager boasted the recent coverage of ex Python Terry Jones’ death meant his trust 'got away with' reports over the demise of two dementia patients. Secondly, there was


the case of the chief executive of an


ambulance trust that introduced a secret policy to delay dispatch of ambulances after people called the emergency helpline. It was estimated 20,000 people were subject to deliberate delays under this covert operation. An enquiry found that at least 25 people died as a result of the policy. If the owner of a private care home can be prosecuted for corporate manslaughter and sentenced to three years in prison after a resident in his home died from poor care, then why can’t the managers of the hospital trust and the ambulance service? Readers may be interested to


know that there are more than 38,000 government workers paid


over £100,000 and over 9,000 earning more than the Prime Minister. Seems our public sector managers want all the pay, glory and credit when things go well, but none of the blame or responsibility when things go wrong. Oh no, for them the ‘buck stops with someone else.’ Boris Johnson has promised to end this. Let’s hope it’s a promise he goes on to keep.


Angus Long is owner of Impression Marketing and Writers4U 35


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