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    Joe Citizens - new story, regarding Motability scooters. My favourite!

  • The Un-Civil Servant

  • BB

    BB is Bureaucratic Bullsh*t.
    It can also stand for Big Brother.
    In the civil service, they are one and the same.

  • What’s it all about?

    Bureaucracy is an umbrella term for official incompetence; that is, incompetence which has officially been sanctioned as being good practice. No-where in the world is that more apparent than in the British public sector. Misadministration of public services is the backbone of every government led department.
    Trust me, I’m a civil servant.

  • It’s a disease

    Bureaucracy runs rife through the corridors of power like a child riddled with ADHD, high on fizzy pop, crisps and jelly-beans.

  • Blog Stats

    • 684 hits
  • Bullsh*t Alert

G4

The Gangsters

. . . need I say more?

You probably already know how crap G4S are.  Unfortunately they are contracted to give security to civil service sites.  Now, on our site, the Keystone cops would give  more competent service.

Because our site is large, there are quite a lot of security officers.  We have a main entrance and a side entrance.  G4 are experiencing budget constraints like every other company and because of this, the side entrance is only unlocked for parts of the day.  The main entrance security is beyond a joke.  I hope no terrorists are reading this!

Let me just digress slightly and maybe give the terrorists a little laugh.  There is another government benefit site not far from the one I work at.  That has a main entrance and also a side entrance, but also a small back entrance.  Now, the back entrance isn’t manned.  Civil servants gain entry through use of their passes swiped in front of an electronic lock.  This entrance is nowhere near any other entrance, in fact it’s not really in sight of any one as it is behind all the buildings in a corner that leads to a side road.  Many a time I have walked past this entrance and seen civil servants nipping out of it for a cigarette, then going back in and not even bothering to see if the gate closes behind them.  Several times I have noticed the gate left open slightly because of the lazy bloody civil servant and his/her total disregard for security.  Obviously G4 are unaware of this as it still happens.  Any one could walk in, set their bomb or spray their bullets and walk out again before the last brick or body hit the ground.

Now, back to my site.  Whether you drive in or walk through the gate, the security guard who is meant to check your pass, glances quickly at you, not your pass, then turns back to his mates in the security hut, scared of losing the thread of his conversation.  On a couple of occasions, I have flashed my drivers licence and my key card instead of my pass and still been waved through.  Bloody useless!  They should stop all cars and personnel and physically check passes.

I have done security work both in the forces and the private sector and have never seen such incompetent security.  I wouldn’t give these idiots the security contract for ‘The Early learning Centre’.

P.S. Does anyone else think their logo says “GAS”?

(In)Security

Security at BB HQ is paramount.  You’d be hard pressed to get past us.  In fact, you’d have to be highly intelligent and devilishley cunning to get information from us.  Cunning as a fox.  Unless you’re not the customer, that is.

Oh yes.  It’s bullsh*t time again!

If the customer phones us requesting information about his or her claim, we have to ‘verify’ the call by asking security questions of which Joe Citizen must correctly answer three out of five.  We NEVER confirm to Joe whether the answers are correct or not.  If they fail to answer satisfactorily, we say goodbye.  If they do get it right, we continue with the call.

Now, if you are NOT the customer, say a family member, a friend or an adviser (CAB, Welfare Rights, etc, also known as a ‘third party’), and if we can establish ‘Implicit Consent’ then you’re onto a winner.  This means that the third party caller only has to mention ONE thing that matches on the customer’s records and we can spill our guts!  They might come on and say, “I’m Joe’s support worker and at the moment he gets £191 into his account…”  If that £191 matches the amount on the computer then we can continue to give information.

So, in bullsh*t summary; The actual customer MUST get three out of five security questions correct to continue. Anyone else just has to mention a pertinent piece of info we hold on the computer records.

Is it just me or is that total back-to-front BULLSH*T?!

A word from our union

The following is a circular from our union that sums up the main problems we face.  It’s a dangerous place!

Security – Protecting Yourself  II

Dear Colleague,

The purpose of this circular is to remind members of the importance of protecting themselves with regards to security.
Whilst we believe the security measures implemented, such as Bogus Caller Verification1, Clear Desk Policy2 and the Policy Scenario Matrix3 are an over zealous, verging on obsessive, response to the data losses by other Departments and Ministers; we felt it appropriate to remind members of the importance of being vigilant and protecting yourselves. This is because it is likely that even a very minor, one-off or entirely non-intentional breach will result in an attempt to take some form of disciplinary action against you. It is worthwhile noting that the Department believes that “deliberate” means that you did it, rather than you did it on purpose.
Whilst we will vigorously defend members against such action, the safest option you can take is to be cautious in all aspects of security and to take all necessary steps to protect yourselves and make sure what you are doing is correct and complies with the Department’s Security Regime; even if that means you need to take extra time and care to ensure it is correct.
Please familiarise yourselves with the Department’s various security policies and procedures (which are available on the intranet) and the Clear Desk Policy. Your line manager should allow you reasonable time to read these in full.
The Clear Desk Policy places considerable individual responsibility on staff for various security matters; not just for your own individual work or desk, but for the staff and room in its entirety. We believe that this is placing unnecessary pressure and stress on staff (who are already working under considerable pressures and high workloads as a result of Lean4 and headcount reductions); and we would like to remind you of your right to an Individual Stress Risk Assessment5.
We have also witnessed several disciplinary cases where members have sent materials to their home e-mail from the Office and these included claimants’ details. We believe that member should not work for nothing at home. We understand that the Department is short staffed; and there are proposals to cut jobs further. Do not be under the misapprehension that if something goes wrong your employer will take into account the fact you were trying and help out the Department due to the lack of staffing. They will not. They will merely blame you and take disciplinary action against you if something goes wrong.
I hope that you have found this circular useful.
Should you require any further information on these matters, or in fact any other matters, please contact the Branch Office.
Yours sincerely
Branch Deputy Secretary

1 The policy of asking security questions before giving information.
2 Where we have to clear our desks at the end of the day of all paperwork or anything ‘sensitive’. 
3 I’ve no idea!
4 A rediculous short cut policy stolen fromToyota to ‘streamline’ processes (look what happened to them).
5 If you feel stressed you fill a form in and have a chat that alters nothing.

Sorry, I can’t tell you that.

Someone from my section was suspended yesterday. On Monday he has to come in to face a ‘decision maker’ and find out if he’s still got a job. What did he do? Swear at someone? Start a fight? Steal stationery? Expose himself? No. He failed to implement correct security procedure during conversations with Joe Citizen.

We have a stringent security policy regarding the personal details of Joe Citizen and rightly so. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to answer Joe Citizen’s queries to their satisfaction because the security system is overloaded with bureaucracy and monitored by over zealous SS Stormtroopers. These wannabe Hitler Youths (otherwise known as ‘The Call Listening Team’) would slit your throat with glee, all for telling Joe his next payment date having verified only two security questions correctly instead of three.
Security is important and giving away information to the wrong person could have serious repurcussions for the claimant but we are using a system that was hastily devised on the back of politicians causing furore by forever leaving bits of their office on trains. Because MPs can’t keep their laptops in their, well…laps, we at BB HQ are now suffering the indignations of personal checks on a regular basis by a team of rottweillers specifically put together to harass us into towing the party line. The system is (badly) managed locally, not nationally, so each department has different systems. For instance, the Pension Service can ask you what your address is as a security question. Whereas, if we asked that, we would be marched off site barely having time to grab our P45. How’s that for a ‘joined up’ goverment? No, I don’t know what that means either.
So, Mrs ninety year old Citizen, next time you ring me and I can’t tell you when your next payment is due, because you can’t remember where you lived in 1942, just remember, it could cost me my job just talking to you!