Thursday, December 20, 2012

Core Reviews Useful & Necessary

To the Attention of Mayor & Council

Core Review for City of Nanaimo  

Extensive reading of history, experience with governments, and observing organizations has led me to conclude that, in addition to constant monitoring of operations to ensure efficient responsiveness and incorporation of innovation, a major Core Review is useful and necessary every 10 to 15 years. New opportunities, techniques, and resource changes require alteration to better adapt to new circumstances, changing needs, and updated demands.

 Only poor ideas, operations, processes are fearful of core reviews. Good, effective, and efficient operations can stand up to any close objective scrutiny. If current systems cannot fully answer to detailed questioning or match and surpass alternative methods, then they should fall to the "new" better ideas. 

The goal should always be to answer in the affirmative the question that should be constantly asked: "Is this the best use of our limited resources?".  

I hate to be cynical, but the facts too often force me to that position. In that light, it is often the case that opposition to Core Reviews is either defensiveness from vested interests protecting the benefits they incur from the status quo or fear of ridicule if the detailed scrutiny reveals failure to adapt or worse, incompetence. Perhaps this is "human nature" but it is no excuse to ensuring the highest and best use of tax money.  

Objective analysis only harms those who deserve to be exposed and changed. Of course, truly objective reviews guard against "change for the sake of change". Or the equally detestable "ping-pong effect of cyclically changing administrations". We must always stand vigilant against the ridiculous alternating "centralization" versus "decentralization" craziness that plague far too many institutions. Taxpayers have long suffered from such bureaucratic machinations of "new administrations" desperate to prove they are different from their predecessors. This is simply ego gratification at enormous, wasteful expense. Paid, of course, by you and me the poor taxpayer.  

Remember "New" does not, in itself, equate to better. I expect the vast majority of City of Nanaimo systems, staffing, and methods will easily weather close inspection. Needless to say, all of the totally inappropriate "in camera" (aka secret) decision-making these last few years, the hiring of totally unnecessary "communication" flacks, abandonment of good relations with the Snuneymuxw 1st Nations, dismissal of talented and dedicated staff, wasteful spending, etc. will generate obvious criticism.  

With those caveats, Nanaimo city operations deserve a Core Review every 10 to 15 years. Although Nanaimo is notorious for talking about doing something longer than the actual doing of it, it is clearly "time to get on with it".  

What have we to lose...Or to hide?

Your obedient servant

Gary Korpan


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