24 June 2008

Fiscal bandwidth hog: the disproportionate growth of Knuckles 2

Strange as it might seem, the disproportionate growth of the Executive Council budget as a share of overall government spending is attributable to the Office of the Chief Information Officer.

The Executive Council went from 0.8% of the annual capital and current account budget to 1.6% in the space of two years, 2004 to 2006. It climbed up again in 2007 and 2008.

OCIO - or NLCS v. 2 - is the controller of all computer resources and personnel within government. Over 200 employees, mostly in St. John's, and a budget which is twice that of the entity to which it nominally belongs. Big Brother, it seems, is a fiscal bandwidth hog like few others.

To be fair, ICIO's budget includes the budgets that used to be distributed around various government departments; it's not surprising it is a huge cash sucker.

But to be even more fair, like all bureaucracies, OCIO will continue to accumulate staff and budget allocations using every advantage that comes from being the information controller for all government working directly for the most central of central agencies.

The cash levels and the staff allocations are - after all - the only performance indicators any bureaucracy worthy of the name actually understands.