Tuesday, 6 January 2009

"A Comedy of Errors" - with apologies


Recent news from Cape Clear
- courtesy of emara News

Government department 'chastised'
- no one disciplined

Senior civil servant contradicts investigators
- see January 12 addition

Government public service subsidy exceeds life-line service
- private ferry business 'decimated'
- compensation? EU rules breached?

Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,

When in the why and the wherefore is neither rhyme nor reason?

The Comedy Of Errors
Act 2, scene 2

I think old Will Shakespeare would have made much mischief with the Rathlin ferry contract and the ensuing investigations; he would have sought both rhyme and reason in vain.

Error of Judgement

that Official l did not exercise more caution or sensitivity was in our view an error of judgment on his part which should not have happened.

Rathlin Ferry Investigations Report [searchable]

This unqualified 'error of judgement' is on a par with other 'criticisms' contained in RFIR despite the dodgy documents, etc. that have been uncovered by other investigators.

Here are some more exotic qualifiers that have been used in the past:

The Taoiseach made an "honest error of judgement" in accepting €50000 from friends, T├ínaiste and Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said this evening. ... Irish Times Sept 27, 2006

Clare Short made a "significant error of judgement" over her repeated attacks about the Iraq war ... BBC News Mar 10, 2004

Mr Blair probably believed the intelligence to be accurate, in which case he made a calamitous error of judgement. ... The Independent Feb 1, 2004

"Do you recognise that your career-long dependency on Mr Mandelson has been a monumental error of judgement?" ... William Hague on BBC News Jan 24, 2001

Some may say there has been much ado about nothing but, perhaps, it was also an error of judgement to bury the report, in a non-user friendly format**, on the DRD website just prior to the Christmas recess, without an associated press release.

[** searchable format]

From the moment I picked up your report until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.

Groucho Marx (with apologies)

TRANSLATION: “I didn't think I would get caught.”
Carlsberg obviously don't do excuses...

Adds January 11

Has RIFL matched this Caledonian MacBrayne pay rise that staff might have expected under TUPE arrangements? If not, perhaps DRD will make up the difference ...

- A 3 year Pay deal (see 1 below): 5% salary increase wef 1 October 2008
- A Bonus Scheme of up to 1.5% of basic salary each year.
- Improved Higher Grade Duty Pay and coverage arrangements.
- Agreement to talks on Outport Assistants posts.
- Improved Staff Travel Arrangements for Clerical Staff.
- Family Friendly Policies.
- Death in Service payment.

MV Canna and MV St Sorney passenger certificates. Can anyone spot inconsistencies? If so, please email them to NALIL blog

A planning application - E/2008/0357/F - for new pontoons and access bridges at Ballycastle and Rathlin harbours was received by the Planning Service on 1 December 2008. It is categorised Certificate A in the name of Moyle District Council and dated 19.11.2008; Simon Francis, DFP-CPD- Civil Engineer, is listed as MDC's agent. Was this application authorised by the Council?

Adds January 12

Minister repeats bold claims despite the absence of an audit trail. Will there be an explanation given for the 'in-house' process that led to an expenditure of £55,000?

The investigators claim that Calmac made the weakest prequalification (PQQ) submission. Yet the 'evidence' from this FoI request demonstrates that the main part of the PQQ wasn't even scored by the not necessarily independent Evaluation Panel!!

On their reading of the three submissions, the evaluation panel was satisfied that all three bidders met the requirement for the Technical, Legal and Quality criteria and therefore decided, due to the low number of returns, and in the interest of maintaining competition, that prequalification would be pass/fail following the results of the Financial Appraisal.