Human beings know which side their bread is buttered on, and they rarely slap that butter side down on a dirty floor, writes Terry ProneAccording to weekend media, everybody is to blame for the rocketing costs of the National Children’s Hospital. Companies. Ministers. Advisers. They’re all being lined up for excoriation, which is a pity, because the real culprit is the tender process itself.Not this particular one. Or, rather, not just this particular one. Public sector tendering is hairy. Best of intentions hairy, but hirsute as hell, nonetheless.It’s the living example of “the improvement that makes things worse”. The process came about because, in the bad old days, nothing stopped local authorities and government departments and ministers from sending lucrative gigs, gift-wrapped, to their best pals. That was just the way it was. It was crude. It was effective. It was exquisite in its monetisation of friendship. It made today’s ‘influencers’ look like door-to-door-peddlers of stinking old football socks.It saved time, too. Back in the day, pals of one of the old big parties knew which local authority jobs were never going to come their way. Reason being that the local authority in question was effectively controlled by the other… Read full this story
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