Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The price of failure

Johnston McNeill, former chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency, was responsible for ensuring that thousands of farmers received payments for "looking after the landscape" by June this year. I know, I know - why are farmers being paid to look after the landscape - but you have to remember this is the EU at work here. Anyway, back to Mr McNeill.

He failed to do this and, as a result the estimate for the costs of the payment scheme have risen from around £76 million to close to £260 million.

Bad, eh?

Of course, Mr Mcneill has been removed from his job. Quite right too - except it's not as simple as that, because this is the public sector and nothing is simple in the public sector. Mr McNeill was actually removed from his position seven months ago, but remains on "gardening leave" on full salary of £114,000 a year. Not bad for sitting on your backside, eh?

It gets worse (or better for Mr McNeill). He actually received a BONUS of £21,062 for overseeing the new cash system even though it was a complete disaster!

The Times tells us that

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed that Mr McNeill was on paid leave “until the department is in a position to determine and agree the terms of his departure"

Why does it take seven months to determine the terms of his departure? Isn't that what his masters at Defra or whatever they are called this week are supposed to do?

Remember, this is the government that spends £125 BILLION every year on quangos and £70 BILLION on "consultants" - compared to £80 billion on the NHS and just £50 billion on defence.

It's your money. Get angry!

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