Thursday, January 15, 2009

Box Ticked - Job Done

The assembly Audit Panel met this morning:

Saved in Translation

Dan Ritterband, the new director of marketing, advised us that savings were being made in the City Hall translation budget, not least because the end of The Londoner has also ended the need to provide specialist copies in multiple languages and formats. In other areas the marketing budget for translation was now devolved to individual project teams who could choose how they spent it. A new website was being designed, with disability access included, and it would be up and running in June.

Events for London

An audit of the events management function carried out at the start of 2008 / 09 found that risks were not adequately managed and some contracts had been approved by officers who lacked the correct authority. New procedures had been put into place under the new mayor.

Older Peoples' Strategy

Under the previous mayor an advisory group had been set up to develop this strategy under advisor Mark Watts, but it had failed to meet. A new action plan was being drawn up and the advisory body would now be chaired by deputy mayor Richard Barnes, with membership from older peoples' organisations around London. With strong political leadership the advisory group would be more prominent and more productive in future.

Internal Audit Performance

I was surprised to learn that the auditors measure their success on the basis of the number of days they work. This is the sort of target that they would call an input measure if they saw it used in any other field. We should - the auditors tell us - measure outputs, i.e. the result of activities. We measure exam results, mortality rates, crime clear up rates and train frequency, to give a few examples. The auditors would be better measured by the number of reports they agree and the number of their recommendations that are implemented - or even by the amount of money they save... Looks like a case of do as I say, not as I do from the Audit Commission.


Rog T said...


Quick question. Is the moggy on the top of this story a Short Haired British Blue? we used to have a pair of them "Norman" and "Maggie" - great cats (Shame about the politicians they were named after)



Roger Evans said...

I believe you have correctly identified him. He and his sister belong to my constituent Anne Ross of Ilford.

I use his picture sometimes for scrutiny stories because his eyes have an uncanny knowing look. Just magnify the picture and see that you can't hide the truth from this cat...

Roger Evans said...

Oh, and thank you for your kind comments on my efforts. It helps that I actually enjoy writing the stories and reading the comments... usually...

Rog T said...

I think you're right to say that if you love writing it helps. I don't know why the Tories in Barnet seem to write such dull blogs (if they can be bothered at all). I think that maybe they take themselves a little too seriously or are a little too worried about saying the wrong thing.

Blogging is a relatively new concept and I'm surprised that more local politicians don't use it. In Barnet we have 2 Tory blogs (Weider & Freer) and 2 Lib Dem blogs ( MacDonald and Palmer). Labour haven't managed any (although Vicki Morris does one for Unison). I'm also surprised that the Parties don't encourage and coach their politicians. It's a cheap way to get your message across. I certainly would.

Could it be that Barnet politicians generally are a bit unimaginative in this respect?

If I were you I'd see Barnet as a business opportunity !

judith said...

If that's a British Blue, its mummy had a secret rendevous round the back of the bike shed with a tabby!

Roger Evans said...

An expert speaks - his sister is a lovely light grey without the stripes. I tried to get a picture but she scarpered when I produced the camera. He was moving rather quickly too, hence the blurring.

Rog T said...


This is why I love blogs. I bet that when you started your blog you never imagined it would spark debates about the parentage of one of your constituents Moggies !

Our old Blue Norman would look stripey in certain lights and pure grey in others. No one ever questioned his parentage !

morris hickey said...

Judith's experience of bike sheds is evidently very specialised. I thought they were only used for smoking (but NOT by me!).