Is it so hard to apply a more managerial view to State Administration?

We have been reading, writing, hearing and commenting on the necessary reform of the structure of the State in Spain for some months now.

In my opinion, up to now, most of the analyses have been focused toward what should be done, from a general and global point of view, always speaking of big figures that usually refer to large entities, organizations or structures, but it does not seem they have come to undertake an specific and more partial approach, a more pragmatic perspective on the matter.

I believe that at this point we may consider as generalized view that there will not be changes in the perception of Spain from abroad until a rationalization and reduction of the autonomous regions expense is produced, besides of the remainder levels of the General State Administration.

I consider that the structure of the State should be governed by feasibility, rationality and proportionality criteria. In fact, it does not seem quite difficult to do so and I am going to comment on it, in a schematic way.

It is just a matter of passing from the idea to the development, from «must be done» to «do», from a more strategic focus to a more tactical one, from the abstract to the concrete, from the theory to the real thing,…

A very simple way of taking action may consist on carrying out a bottom-to-top analysis, meaning that we focus on each one of the businesses, agencies, institutions, entities that integrate the whole State conglomerate, revise their structures, resources, processes in a detailed way, to detect the axes of improvement (duplicities, lacks, excesses and defects, among other aspects) and propose correcting actions for each phase of the basic cycles of their activity, that essentially should not differ from those we find in a company business: incomes, expenses and periodic reporting.

Logically this processing cannot be identical for all entities within all the Administration fields, since some public services are considered basic, must be respected and protected, in-force legislation establishes the State should provide on a mandatory way, as they are in everyone’s mind, we are not going to detail them not even in a including-but-not-limited-to kind of list, though I understand they should always be governed by quality and effectiveness criteria.

After analyzing the results, conclusions and recommendations to be included in all and each one of the carried out reviews, we would have come to the time of decision making, being to adapt, to restructure, to adequate or to modify the entity, being to totally or partially eliminate it, when it is not viable, reasonable and well-proportioned to maintain it under its current configuration.

I should recognize that this is an ambitious plan, but at the same time a practical approach, keeping in mind the tremendous weaving of professionals that we have available at present time in Spain, who should they be able to access by means of an open public contest through the internet, to present their services proposals for each one of these reviews pertaining to the businesses, agencies, institutions and entities which form the State conglomerate in all their levels: Central Administration, Autonomous Regions, Province Delegations and City Halls.

We take for granted, as we cannot think otherwise, that all hired professionals should not have any type of business or personal link with any of the public entities to revise neither with any other directly related company by some hierarchical or functional motive, so that a complete objectivity, impartiality, independence and transparency of the reviews can be guaranteed.

For which it concerns to the services remuneration, pursuing the idea of the lowest possible cost and supposing a benefit for both parties, it would be highly recommendable to consider a fixed component for the execution of the works, invoiced and fully paid in arrears during the service provision and a variable component that would be calculated and liquidated depending on the obtained savings of the immediate following six months.

Of course the previous plan may only be carried out if there is a real will to seek solutions, to pass to the action, to make decisions that are not pleasant, to resolve more than one structural problem that is leading us to an unsustainable situation.  In fact, I believe that if they moved on immediately, the review reports would be ready before the end of year, and besides they would have the option to establish all accepted recommendations.

We may not be eternally expecting others to solve our problems, neither continually waiting for Godot, because at this stage it should be clear to us that Godot will not come.

(Post published on 23.Jul.2012, blog upgrade date is shown)

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