Friday, May 11, 2012

Reform this not that

Things that make you want to scream.

Calling Government Ministries for information -

Phone rings, person answers : Hello

You: Good morning, have I reached the (insert relevant dept here)? 

GE: yeah.

You: I am trying to obtain information on (insert subject)

GE:  Nah, hold on, is not here you want, is X dept. 

Alternatively: The person you need to speak to not here, call back later. Phone is hung up. 

Or: the phone just rings and rings and rings until it cuts off.

Trying to get your contract gratuity?

HR file is pulled, paperwork is checked to make sure contract is signed. Assumption and resumption of duty letters, sick leave, leave entitlement etc all in order. File is then sent to Accounts for computation. 

Accounts then checks back the dates and figures, computes what 20% of that is, minus tax.

File then travels to Internal Audit to be audited, because clearly Accounts cannot be trusted to compute correctly.

If all goes well and the planets align, file is then sent to higher powers to be signed off on. HR then forwards file to Ministry of Finance for payment.

Keep in mind, there is no set time for this process to happen in most Ministries. 

So File arrives at Min of Finance, Pensions Division. It goes to, surprise, surprise, COMPUTATIONS. So they can make sure that everything is all computed. 

From there it goes to Auditor General, to be audited, again.

Then approvals, so that someone can say, yes, please pay.

Finally, it goes to ACCOUNTS, for a cheque to be issued.

How long does this process take? Anywhere from six months to three years!

Hopefully in the meantime you will have gotten another job, and called every week to check on the status of your file. (see above)

Actually, talk to most Trinidadians and they'll tell you their version of "Dealing with Government". Now that's not to say that there haven't been improvements, they have. Sadly, the improvements are always outweighed by unpleasant people, tedious processes, time consuming waits and apathy. There are filing cabinets full of plans that will never get implemented, studies that are ignored, professionals whose opinions are sought and then ignored. In the end, the people who work, expect results or want change give up, ground down by relentless indifference or incompetence of those who have a vested interest in maintaing the status quo.  And that is what makes losers out of all of us. 


Captain Walker said...

How dare you criticise T&T administration like this - in public? How do you get away with it? ;) (note the sweet eye! LOL)

Whenever I say things like this I'm told that I should be striped of citizenship and that because I'm in England I should shut my mouth if I have nutn good to say. I've also been described as 'tamasic' in relation to this sort of comment.

I find it unfair that because I'm living in England, that I am not allowed to criticise things on allyuh Rock. I'm still a citizen of T&T.

Don't take it the wrong way: I'm being provocative here - nothing personal. But I've been looking at how lots of Trinbagonians actually are critical of life-situations on their Rock.

Gabriela said...

What annoys me the most is that government offices don't care how much time they take to answer. But, the users, the one that get their salaries paid, we have to obey the rules about terms and deadlines and whatever.

Wuzdescene said...

OK Wallah .... so I know this is not funny .... but it jus so god damn funny!!! :-)