Thursday, September 17, 2009

 

SOCA Chief a 'Generalist' where a Specialist Needed?

I was amused by the spat between MPs on the Home Affairs Committee and Sir Ian Andrews, the £430m a year head of the Serious Organised Crime Agency(SOCA). True to the White Hall 'generalist' doctrine that a 'sound and able man'(preferably with a degree in classics) will run anything, he is no excopper. By no means, Instead he has been a Defence mandarin, heading up the MOD's Estate Agancy while knowing bugger all about estate management and the same departments's research and evaluation agency without being en engineer or a scientist.

When accused of being a 'Sir Humphrey' he replied that the special thing he brought to the party was 'leadership skills'. Hmm. In France senior civil servants are often specialists in law or economics and the so-called 'enarchs' are reckoned to be a cut or two above our Oxbridge amateurs. The debate will rumble on but how has SOCA been doing? Well, it'sa been heavily criticised for being ineffective and expensive. Is there a moral there somewhere?

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