Incentive, anyone?

Interesting story in The Guardian this weekend which just goes to show why a politician should never be allowed to run anything.

Keith Vaz, the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, says that all bonuses at the UK Border Agency must cease because of “failures such as the relaxation of border controls, the inability to clear the asylum backlog and the reluctance to tackle bogus colleges through unannounced inspection”.

Granted, UKBA has serious problems – no-one would deny that, but parts of it can and do work well. And it is right that where there is excellence it should be recognised and rewarded.

But Vaz says no, treating employees like naughty schoolchildren, keeping the whole class in detention because some are miscreants.

Vaz sits for a safe seat and enjoys a salary well in excess of what most civil servants earn. His job has no minimum entry requirements or performance standards. How about we muck about with his terms of service on the grounds that some of his colleagues are useless pissheads?

Vaz’s posturing might make for a good headline, but in the long tern it doesn’t work. Staff who might previously have gone the extra mile will look at this and think “Bollocks, why bust a gut” and just perform within their required parameters.

Take away the carrot and all you’re left with is the stick. And a cowed beast does the bare minimum to avoid the beating.