Monday, May 28, 2007

Same Trough, Different Pigs

How is it even possible for something like this to happen? How many people see a contract like this before it is approved? Five, Ten or More?

Isn’t even one of them exercising due diligence on behalf of the Canadian Taxpayer? Is there no one outside of the Auditor Generals office that routinely establishes whether proper procedures and protocols have been followed in government?

Yes, Yes there is.
“The Procurement and Project Management Policy Directorate (PPMPD) is part of the Government Operations Sector within the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Its role is to provide strategic project and procurement management policy leadership to government departments, other central agencies, and other parts of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.”

The website says that they process about 500,000 transactions a year worth about 10 to 13 billion dollars. Hmmm, with that kind of money at stake you would think that we (the public) would have heard more about this obviously important player in the contracts process.

But then, would you admit to being the guy that let unscrupulous politicians rip us all off?

That’s what I thought…


This issue has gotten me to thinking, a dangerous occupation to say the least, but here it goes anyway.

Since our society is advanced beyond the level of the dark ages it is not impossible, or even economically prohibitive (once the criminal cost of the status quo is factored in) to ensure that processes are followed and those in positions of power and influence do not have the opportunity or ability to easily cheat the system.

With this fact being patently obvious, the only plausible reason why things like this continue to happen is because they are permitted to. Now why is that?

Why, because at some level we all want it to continue! We as individuals are all rational actors, and if we think we can get away with cheating the system we will. It’s simply how the game is played.

Do you remember when Ontario was going to install photo radar? Remember the ruckus it caused? That little tempest in a teapot wasn’t brought on by some fear of “Big Brother” prying into the lives of law-abiding citizens as they cruised the 401. Not at all, the impetus for the outrage was that the government was eliminating the possibility of getting away with it. We (citizens) were outraged that the government was eliminating one of the prime components in our societies game, the ability for individuals to cheat “the system” by ensuring that anyone speeding at any time anywhere could be caught and would be ticketed.

Now nowhere near 1 in 103,896 of us have the ability to squeeze $25,000 out of the federal purse, but the principal is the same…

I guess


NB taxpayer said...

You're right, the taxpayer Bill of Rights was long overdue. However, I can't say that I am in favour of the government setting up that many bureaucracies (regional offices) across the country.

Zip said...

It's a trade off nb, in order to have oversight, somebody has to be watching.

NB taxpayer said...

Very true, zip. I guess any expansion of government bureaucracy makes me a bit uneasy. Comes with being a libertarian I guess. lol