Sunday, 24 February 2008

Tripodi, Scimone, polony, baloney

Tripodi should just quit now and be done with it. When I was working for a government agency, we were lectured to on numerous occasions by anti-corruption mobs from hither and thither, and the thing that we were told time and time again was that it was not good enough to be free of corruption - one had to also not give any impression of being corrupt. Even the merest whif of taint was enough to do one in.

In other words, perceptions about corrupt conduct were as important as corrupt conduct itself.

Joe Polony might not be corrupt, but he has not exactly covered himself in ethical glory during this episode. So what if you are as straight as a die, Joe? The people around you stink, and their stench is rubbing off on you. Absence thyself to the backbench for a while and cleanse the stench.

The whole appointment of Scimone is a hoot. The entire public service is paranoid about being seen to be providing jobs for the boys, so the process of recruiting someone these days is a jungle of red tape. In fact it has been that way for at least 15 years, and it's gotten worse since the early 1990's. The number of hoops that a manager has to jump through to employ someone is ridiculous, but the entire process is designed to make the system appear to be fair and equitable.

You may not appoint the best person to the job, but after you're done and dusted, you have enough paperwork to at least show that you conducted the process in a non-corrupt fashion.

The thing that really cracks me up is that the process is most rigorously applied for jobs that pay say $40,000 per year. It appears it is pretty loosely applied once you get up into the $200k bracket.

However, I bet the Dept of Smelly Waterways will have a file an inch thick to prove that appointing Baloney was the right thing to do...... but then I have interviewed dozens and dozens of people for at least 30 positions, and I know how to fiddle the paperwork to ensure that you appoint the person that you want to appoint.

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