One of the worst problems with working in local government is that councilors and heads of service have convinced themselves that councils are no longer drab grey blocks of administration but instead flowery brands that have customers. We do not have customers. Customers have the choice to go elsewhere.
As more council services are “outsourced” to private companies we will see more style over substance. A relation of mine with 35 years of experience as an N.H.S nurse recently got a taste of this when she applied for a job with Atos assessing people for Employment Support Allowance.
She attended an interview in London which she though went well but was advised she had not got through to the next stage. Two weeks later she received a phonecall and was advised that as she had flown through the technical knowledge part of the interview but had fallen short on her knowledge of Atos . Because of this they would like to invite her back for the next stage of interviews. She spent the next two weeks reading up about Atos and their corporate strategy.
The day before her interview she was contacted and advised that there had been a mistake and the person who had phoned her had got their information muddled. As she failed on her knowledge of Atos she would not be invited for a second interview. Had her technical knowledge been flawed however she would have been invited back.
What does it matter what Atos’s corporate strategy is. Their customers cannot go elsewhere if the service is no good.