The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment has literal hours of operation on its website for reporting your Unemployment info each week. As in you can’t use the form to submit anything outside of those hours. Which is not only obviously stupid and ridiculous and unnecessary, but that means it ends up subject to the same clogging that the phone reporting system suffers from since everyone has to squeeze into the same narrow timeframes online, too.

Many years ago I went to a job interview at the (Australian) post office, where they seemed very eager to see me and said they needed someone to type in all these SQL queries, manually, at a terminal, to run a bunch of reports. The work was scheduled to take six months.

“Uh, can I write a script to do it? That’ll take about a week, tops.”

“No, we don’t have budget approval for software development, just data entry.”

“…but it’s the same person doing it, and it’ll be much faster…?”

“Sorry, we just don’t have authorization for that. Will you take the job?”

“… … .”

Can central planning really do no better than this? Or is that just begging for an efficient bureaucracy to oppress us even more efficiently? Surely the latter is not a consequence of the former in all formulations?

Seriously, six months of work compared to at most a day or two of script testing? That’s the sort of savings you should get a fucking medal for. How the fuck are they not allowed sdgngit30h3tionn oxwoiww noicw4oiw4 rw4jr3jmr34roij4ru4 t4u 4rjr44r3oi34ou 4rc44ouhc4ct4uh 34cc44tihuergihusrhser9uevs0erseiub3whu 

The Victorian government (the Australian state, not steampunk queen) has wasted $900 million on failed IT projects that were cancelled before delivery or failed to achieve stated goals after delivery.

It’s not a Central Planning thing (although that for sure doesn’t help). It’s a trust thing.

The correct way to get something done is to hand $10E6 to a trustworthy fellow and say “Make it work. Any money left over, you can keep as a bonus.” 

The wrong way is to say “If this fails I will end up on the front page of some sleazy broadsheet so here are the exact ways you are allowed to spend the $10E6 I am giving you because then if something goes wrong it is not my fault.”

And then wonder why the amazingly flexible developer who’s had great success in the private sector suddenly isn’t flexible in the public sector.

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