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Integrity, some connections

July 13, 2007

If you look in the press today we have a crisis of trust in the BBC as a result of a promotional tape which wrongly showed the Queen walking out on a New York Fashion Photographer, and much debate over whether the Government in Iraq have achieved their benchmarks. In the case of the BBC we are dealing with the outsourcing of programmes to independent producers who compete for business; as result of an earlier re-engineering process. It can be argued that one consequence of this is a loss of journalistic integrity in the process if not also the people. Coupled with the need to gain a scoop, to sensationalise if at all possible this is a dangerous cocktail. There are obvious parallels here with outsourcing that occurred in the British Health Service with negative consequences for integrity of hygiene practices. In parallel with this we see the benchmarking of the Iraq government. Now I have often thought that that benchmarking, KPIs and the the like are often an excuse for poor management, allowing leaders to hide behind a set of numbers and not take responsibility for their judgments, in other words displaying a lack of political integrity. One has to question the use of dubious business practice in government, or quasi-governmental bodies such as the BBC

In parallel with this I discover that Tony Blair in his new appointment to Middle East Peacekeeping has requested that he be accommodated in the former residence of the British High Commissioner in Palestine. It is located on the Hill of Evil Counsel where Judas is said to have betrayed Jesus.

PS. Having composed this, my RSS feed showed that Richard Sambrook picked up on both the BBC and US use of benchmarks yesterday so I can not claim originality here!

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