Nothing Is Too Good For The People's Councillors!
Early this year I noticed a vacancy being advertised in the local free sheet, silly title but effectively chief number-cruncher for the local council. Rather less money on offer than I'd like, but a whole lot better than Job Seekers - and I suspected a whole lot less hassle in many ways than in the private sector. So I applied, filled in endless pages on-line, and was granted an interview.
To prepare for this august occasion - even though it was in January! - I went along to the council offices and blagged a copy of their latest financial statements. This itself appeared to cause shock-waves, a member of the public wanting a copy of their accounts!! Whatever next???
I then spent a couple of days going through these so-called financial statements, and nearly ruined a red pen. To say they were full of mistakes - even without having access to the data behind them! - would be an understatement. Apart from the grammatical nonsenses, there were pages of numbers not adding up, inconsistent with other tables on other pages, and even completely contradictory stuff within the same set of numbers. Without wishing to be completely boring, here's an illustrative example; if you have a depreciation rate for a category of fixed asset of 33% it means that you write any purchases of that class of fixed asset off over three years - yet here we had exactly the same figure for additions as for depreciated charged in the period.
Had I produced such a pile of festering garbage even as a first draft several of the folk I reported to would have torn my head off and shoved it (metaphorically!) where the sun never shines. Such rubbish would NEVER have been put forward to the board, let alone signed off and published. And where were the useless auditors in all this?
I kept my trap shut at the interview. Probably luckily I did not get the job.
The Has-bean Counter.