Political intention needs good administration
Intention is no good if not delivered.
Political intention needs good administration
Intention is no good unless administered properly.
Dictionary definition of administration; to manage or direct, it can also mean to manage or control. Other meanings use the word to describe the “body” of people who administer an organisation.
Most people will assume the administration are there to provide (to administer) to the people, the wishes of their democratically elected government. The dictionary definition included terms such as control and direct, which most people will not consider to be part of the remit of administrators. In Britain, and probably in other places, the administration take upon themselves the dictionary definition of their remit. Under the British constitution the civil service, the administration, are not political appointees. They are almost self governing, outside of public scrutiny and political control. They are supposed to be non political, serving whoever is elected to govern with the same impartiality. The recent farce over delivering the withdrawal from the EU has shown this is not the reality. The civil Service bosses clearly had their own ideas and when these were not supported by a democratic vote, they tried to prevent Britain leaving the EU by giving help to which ever politicians agreed with them in their effort to prevent the democratic decision being carried out.
One big problem about law making, in Britain and probably in other nations, is that lawyers get involved in drawing up the legislation. Lawyers have, may be inadvertently, ensured that the law is no longer about justice but is only about “the law” and so legislation drafted by lawyers; is about the law, not the real life intended political aim.
The way in which an administration can subvert political intentions does not stop at the way legislation is drawn up. The actual carrying out of intentions get shifted down to an interface between public and government. This interface is controlled by the bureaucracy and the systems they use, the form of words they use and the complexities of the paperwork are all bureaucratic, that is they are designed by and for the good of the bureaucracy and not for the good of the public. The results can be such a long way from the politicians intent, that the politicians no longer recognise the experience of the public as being the result of their work in parliament. In Britain, the administration of the benefit system and the workings of legal aid need reform. Just as the administration of the NHS needs change. Experience says the NHS medical front lines are brilliant but it can then take months just to send a letter, a report, of the medical findings. Why??
Switch to another of the bureaucratic nightmares ---Why should it be that, those who have paid tax in Britain for years, have problems claiming their rights??
There are authoritative reports about the shockingly bad treatment some of those left unemployed when the firm, Thomas Cook collapsed. Many have paid taxes in Britain for many many years yet when they went to get unemployment benefit or state help, many were met with confusion and rejection. Many were told to make the wrong sort of application then blamed by the employment centers for filling in wrong forms and so did not get payments.
Many will feel that if these badly treated people, had been supported by those lawyers who make a fortune out of tax payers by fighting for the rights and benefits of illegal entrants to Britain, may be they would have done better.
There are many rumors, unsupported by evidence, that authorities are reluctant to enforce their own rules in situations where cries of “racism” may be heard and yet they will spend huge amounts of money clawing back small amounts of over paid pensions, from people who have paid tax in Britain for 50 years or more. It is not uncommon to get letters, which must cost tens, if not hundreds, of pounds to draw up, scrutinize, cross check and type (considering the “labour costs”) and then post; when the demand is repayment of one or two pounds overpaid without the recipient even being aware of the error.
It is no good politicians having good ideas, it it pointless producing vote winning manifestos, it is a waste of time having learned debates and getting legislation passed into law; if they do not ensure that the administration actually deliver what is intended, to the people.
The methods and systems of administration needs to get up to date, statistically there are more central government and local government administrators, than ever before, yet we now have computerised systems that should have caused a reduction in numbers. The bureaucracy needs radical reform. Politics does not stop in the debating chamber, it is what is delivered to the voters, the real people, that matters. The government may think they have caused a change to improve the lives of voters but if at the next election, the people have found no change, or even a deterioration, due to the way the system delivers the rules to the people, they stop trusting political change.
It is no good getting good political governance if the systems that transfer political decisions into actual human level working, are ruined by an administration that acts to control and direct the legislation they are supplying to the people. There is a very old saying about many a slip between cup and lip. Politicians should change this to; many a difference between their intended reform and what the bureaucracy actually delivers.
May be all legislation should start with a clear, simple worded statement of intent, which is part of the enacted law and comes before the legalise wording that the lawyers insist on.