Wednesday, August 27

Speaking out...

This morning our office received an e-mail from the Director of Human resources, which contained a memo from the Deputy Minister of Finance, Bob Christie, regarding a hiring freeze in the Ontario Provincial Government. It seems the government needs to save somewhere between five hundred million and one billion dollars. As one of the ways to save money they will not be hiring anyone who is not considered essential to business-critical needs.
Now I have heard that they may even have to resort to lay offs, to meet thier goals.
I was discussing this with some colleagues at work, and we all noticed that the Government isn't doing much to cut their spending in other areas. I made a quick mental list of things they could do to save money. Things like using common directories on our computers to store things like address and phone lists to cut down on people printing copies of these list. In fact, they could probably save millions of dollars a year in wasted paper alone, if they would implement measures to cut down on computer print outs. They could also implement Ministry wide standard practices for things like filing systems, and record keeping. By making support positions easier and more efficient they would save money.
We also touched upon things like making marijuana and prostitution legal and regulating and taxing these products or services. Those two things alone would probably put the province in a surplus.
When I mentioned to one of my friends here, that I was considering sending an e-mail to the Deputy Minister, mentioning these issues, well the paper waste, and business practices anyway. He said that the Deputy Minister would probably never even see the e-mail himself, and that I would probably be fired and escorted from the building. Now, I'm sure they wouldn't do that, they would probably send me a response explaining that the problem is being researched and measures are being taken to rectify any issues.
So I wonder why my friend seemed to fear some sort of reprimand from the Deputy Minister for pointing out flaws in the system? Maybe he was joking around, in fact, I'm sure he was joking around. But when he said it, it kind of made sense.
I don't believe anyone should fear speaking their mind, and making suggestions on how to create a better and more efficient working environment. Especially when it's a public office.
Is anyone else surprised that someone would be afraid to confront someone in a position of power, like the Deputy Minister of Finance?

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