Notes From The Margin

March 12, 2008

Consultants – Another One Of Those Silly Games That Politicians Play

“Politicians Mekkin Mock Sport At We…..”
Mighty Gabby

We on the margin have watched with a degree of amusement at first Prime Minister David Thompson’s “House cleaning” followed by Former Prime Minister Arthur’s war path speech. Having listened to them both I can only come to the conclusion that our prime ministers both present and past are playing “mock sport” with us.

Let’s accept a few realities here…

1. Consultants are an accepted part of governance in the Caribbean, always have been and more than likely always will be. When running something as complex as a government, it is understandable that policymakers (whatever party they may belong to) may want to have independant advice to help them shape policy or to advise them politically, to write speeches etc.

2. Let’s also accept the fact that each policy maker is going to want to select their own consultants or advisors. Hence you cannot equate persons who fill this role with public servants. Like the directors of statutory boards etc. They SHOULD resign when the administration changes. It is not victimisation for the incoming administration to say that they want to take someone else’s advice.

So here we have PM Thompson, equating hiring consultants with squandermania, just to have to turn around and defend his appointment of “political advisor” Hartley Henry as being somehow different.

We also have former PM Arthur talking about going “on the warpath” over these people being dismissed. (They should have tendered their resignations already)

While we have serious concerns about Mr. Arthur saying that he “helped out” one of his speech writers who had lost his previous employment, we also recognise that Mr. Henry is unlikely ever to file consultant report that will be filed in the government filing system. The advice given by consultants at this level is more than likely to be held in the PM’s personal files and also likely to leave the office with the individual when he demits office.

So when you cut through all of the sound and fury that has surrounded this issue, there really isn’t that much substance here. Just politicians playing “holier than thou” and mekking mock sport as they play to the gallery.

Marginal

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6 Comments »

  1. Marginal:

    Once again you have missed the point! You said: “When running something as complex as a government, it is understandable that policymakers (whatever party they may belong to) may want to have independant advice to help them shape policy or to advise them politically, to write speeches etc.” However, the real case for the use of consultants is to fill gaps in the permanent establishment of the civil service. One of the major differences between persons who can properly be called “consultants” rather that temporary hirelings, is that the consultant is hired to perform specific tasks defined in clear terms of reference and is expected to produce the “deliverables” specified in the t.o.r.

    The former BLP administration seems to have given jobs to their lackeys without any effort to hold those persons to any of the standards that persons who can be properly described as consultants are expected to meet. This seems to be main reason for the action taken by Prime Minister Thompson to fire them.

    Comment by Linchh — March 13, 2008 @ 12:01 am | Reply

  2. “One of the major differences between persons who can properly be called “consultants” rather that temporary hirelings, is that the consultant is hired to perform specific tasks defined in clear terms of reference and is expected to produce the “deliverables” specified in the t.o.r.”

    Like Hartley Henry then 🙂

    perhaps you might be more comfortable with the word “advisor”

    Marginal

    Comment by notesfromthemargin — March 13, 2008 @ 8:26 am | Reply

  3. Marginal:

    Obviously you wish to score minor political points by taking a serious matter to the ridiculous. My advice to you is:
    When you blog
    Use your nog
    Or you’ll be eaten by the dog
    while your brains are in a fog.

    Comment by Linchh — March 13, 2008 @ 9:57 am | Reply

  4. I actually do find the treatment of the matter ridiculous. Because what it’s boiling down to is two political sides trying to claim the moral high ground in the middle of a swamp.

    And to give you a fuller answer to your original response, yes we can agree on “consultants” with a formal frame of reference, and you’ll find many of those throughout government doing what they are supposed to do. However you will find many of the other form of consultants Philip Goddards or Hartley Henry’s which are not unusual either, they have their role to play.

    However (and hell will probably freeze over at this) Hartley Henry is right, those sorts of posts evaporate when the government changes (see his article of a few weeks ago) it goes with the territory. BLP cannot be serious to suggest that those people are being “victimised” at the same time the DLP isn’t serious because they are about to do the same thing just with different people and different titles.

    “Mock Sport at we” I say!!!

    Marginal

    Comment by notesfromthemargin — March 13, 2008 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  5. i want to know what is hartley hennry geting

    Comment by NG — March 16, 2008 @ 12:07 am | Reply

  6. So now we see that they offered the job to Henry but he hasn’t “formally” accepted yet?

    Gee we have doubts about the unemployment figures?

    What Jokers!

    Comment by PO — March 18, 2008 @ 10:47 am | Reply


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