4 responses

  1. Now then, This might make you cross, but I’ve been at the ‘welfare to work’ conference for the last two days (that bit won’t bother or interest you at all). I’ve been in the industry many years, and it was very interesting calmly sitting this year ‘joining the dots’ with regards to those who had secured large (very large) public contracts for their organisations, and their links to Ministers/ the partners thereof, mates with senior Civil servants etc. (I’m old enough to be able to quietly say to myself, now isn’t she married to…., or didn’t he use to work with….)

    Now, I’m not necessarily saying that is a bad thing – (because I fully admit I have benefitted from that too!), and one does not wish to let a client down if you know and like them, which is a powerful quality assurance tool. But then should we be honest with everyone about who can get work?

    So moving to the question posed, why on earth would one advertise Government jobs online, when in fact it would be entirely reasonable to expect someone found through personal recommendation to get the job….

    I feel a telling-off is in the ether…

  2. Mark Lunn: see me and write 1000 lines: I must not make sweeping generalist statements!

    Telling off? No, but it is a perception that is not true. I contract with government, and have done for a while now. I am not a part of a large consultancy, yes they pitch for the work I do, but if I am better than them – I get the job.

    I have no idea about mates getting jobs, the rules are scarily rigorous in this regard. It is nigh on impossible to slip a mate in as it were.

    However, the measures that government goes to to prevent such matey behaviour, does mean that all contractors/consultants must go through a framework agreement. these government framework agreements are few and far between and to get on them you have to have quite a substantial business, so to apply for a job, you need to register with said framework agency and then apply. Of course, if once you get called to interview your face is familiar, the interview goes more smoothly, but trust me – it is never a given. (I have learned this time and time again).

    My beef with the framework thing is that intermediaries, agencies/consultancies etc, once on the framework – get all of the work! Or contract out the work at presumably a nice profit. This cuts out the small fry, like me, contracting directly (and without ‘fees’).

    So, although these frameworks safeguard itself against nepotism and the like, they also create an unfair system of contracting with government that cuts out the smaller, perhaps more VFM companies. (It takes a lot of investment for a company to go through the rigorous application process to get on a framework agreement, and they offset the cost against potential profit in the promised contracts – which do not always materialise to be frank).

    So I agree with a point that you were inadvertantly making, but I disagree with the nepotism bit. It is very, very hard to ‘get a mate in’ in government. (Just ask my mates :))

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