We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Making budgets bounce with health

How budgets work:
  • You are given a pot of money, with which to buy authorised materials.
  • You buy, or order, authorised materials, spending and/or committing the money in your budget.
  • The council freezes all expenditure on everything except consultants and certain essentials.
  • You stop ordering anything that costs money.
  • You are told that you are allowed to spend a very tiny amount.
  • You check that the very tiny amount you are told you can spend is more than the amount you have committed for items awaiting delivery.
  • You find that you have a teeny, tiny amount of money that you can safely spend on a few Christmas blockbusters.
  • You get a bollocking for overspending your budget.
  • You find that three days before you ordered a few Christmas blockbusters somebody decided to remove a large amount of money from your budget to offset an income target that's entirely unachievable because we don't charge people for renting these items any more because we haven't had any of them for more than sixteen years.

Which is why Bronwyn's spent the past two days trying to explain the concept of advance stock ordering to T.Aldous. The explanation that this is the only way to make sure that we get copies of popular titles less than a month after people start complaining that they've "seen copies on sale in Tesco and Asda so why isn't there a copy at my library?" is like water off a duck's back.

"So why are you overspent then? The books haven't arrived yet."

"Because the money was already committed in September and you've taken even more than that out of the budget."

"Well, I can't see why you've needed to overspend."

This isn't a good day to wind Bronwyn up with the three boxes of Larry Grayson bookmarks we found in Mary's office.


Red Squirrel said...

Dear lord, local government has regressed even more since I last worked in it....

Kevin Musgrove said...

I'm never sure if it's degeneration or decadence. Either way, it isn't pretty.