Monday, February 27, 2012

Councils and Time Value of Money

The issue with Councils and bureaucrats in general can be traced to three interlocking aspects, which together have over the years created the leisurely, process-and-rule bound, risk-averse culture we are now seeing.

1 - no revenue reponsibility. Council rates, fees and levies are non-contestable. They can be pencilled in at budget time and arrive on schedule. Guaranteed revenues mean that all Council staff have quite literally no connection with their financing. It is simply taken for granted, like the sunrise.

2 - no concept of time=money. Councils can inject time into processes without paying any monetary penalty. Their hapless customers still have to pay their mortgages, working capital overdrafts, consultants fees and staff. So every day that a Council injects into a process - has a direct and proportionate cost to the affected customer. Heck, Councils even 'stop the clock' when counting days elapsed for a consent. But the customers' Bankers don't.

3 - Council staff are answerable only to the CEO, and the CEO is a Council's (in the elected sense of members around the table) only employee. So there is no direct connection between anything which Councillors might think, want, or do, and the effect on staff. For all practical purposes staff are completely immune to Councillor influence.

So if the staff continue to with-hold, delay, defer, ignore or otherwise foobar the rebuild, just exactly what can be done about it, given all of the above?

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