Well, it’s that time again. I can’t believe this year has gone so fast. To think that, last year I was promising everybody that everything was going to be fine. The new CAP system was going to be great, we had just recruited a new Delivery Director and he was cleaning up Saughton House and bringing in a special crack team of developers who would turn this project around on a pin head and deliver everything early and under budget.
I guess I should have got a little suspicious when everybody changed desks and even buildings every two weeks but the management team kept telling me that everything was going fine and our new Delivery Director even went to the trouble to bring in his own management team to ensure that I was kept fully informed of everything that was going on.
Anyway, the year is over and we can’t change what has happened. We can only change the future.
So, to my friends and family I want to wish you all a very happy New Year. To my staff, and our customers, the farmers – I want to wish you also a very Happy New Year but also add the assurance that in 2016 we will not be repeating the mistakes of 2015.
I know that people keep telling me how complicated the CAP system is, but let’s be honest, we have school kids creating more complicated projects on a daily basis in their bedrooms and they’re not charging £150million a year for it. I really need to wake up to this flannel (as my father in law told me over the Christmas dinner this year).
So, here are my new years resolutions
1 – Don’t sign any more Time and Materials contracts – just fixed price
2 – If a supplier says they can’t find the staff to do the work without bringing them in from somewhere else in the World, then use a supplier who can – we’ve got enough clever people in Scotland – let’s use them
3 – Open door policy for my own Scottish Government Staff. They’ve been nothing but sidelined in 2015 and this is wrong. They are a dedicated workforce who live in the community that we are serving – so, they have a vested interest in the success of our projects. It’s time to invite them in to the top so that they can tell me openly and honestly, without fear of reprisals, what they think
4 – Apologise to the farmers for the fiasco we have created this year, and guarantees that the Scottish Government will cover the costs of their loan arrangements, fees and interest caused by the late delivery of this system
5 – Separate out a crack team of SG staff (20 max) who will report directly to me. Their task will be to write the whole system from scratch. No management involvement, just BAs, designers and developers and weekly round table meetings. I’ve been told that they could do the job, so let’s give it a go. If we need to bring in a consultant or two – then they can recommend them – nobody else. It’s about time we started delivering for success in this Government
6 – Start training local apprentices. I keep being told that our suppliers are training apprentices but I don’t actually believe it any more. I will appoint mentors from within the Scottish Government staff and they can recruit apprentices, train them and mentor them in skills that we can use now and in the future.
I’ve got another 18 points, but as always time is pressing.
I suppose what I am really saying to the people of Scotland is that I wish you all a very Happy New Year and rest assured that you will see much less Dopey Dave in 2016 and much more Decisive Dave. I will take this Government, it’s projects, it’s staff and most importantly it’s suppliers and give them a good shake. There will be no more late deliveries, no more project over-runs, no more unhappy farmers. I am going to take personal ownership of all these projects going forward.
And nobody is going to pull the wool over my eyes any more.
That is my promise.