Forget the line about to a hammer everything is a nail. The new role of government is about buying a pile of hammers, issuing them to bureaucrats (new and to be hired) and asking them to throw them at anything that looks interesting.
Apparently the Commonwealth Government has a new agency called the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). Who knew? Yet the role of this DTA is:
… to make it easy for people to deal with government. We help government transform services to be simple, clear and fast.
So yet again it seems that Government’s solution to poor government is …. more government. One might imagine that easiest way for most people to deal with government is not to have to deal with government in the first place. Clearly it is wishful for government to establish a Government Reduction Agency (GRA). Maybe also when the government runs 100% of the economy, or what is left the economy, then all will be perfect.
So here we go:
That’s right. Cart before the horse style. Rather than working out the best way to delivery welfare payments and then finding the best technology, the DTA wants to pick the technology first and the work out the best way to deliver welfare payments using the pre-determined technology; irrespective off course of whether the distributed ledger solution is the best one.
Yes. Let’s go to a cardiologist to assess our asthma problem and let them perform heart surgery to vary our breathing patterns to help with the asthma. Brilliant aren’t they.
But who enables this crap. The Liberal National Coalition Government of Australia. As part of the 2018-2019 budget:
the Australian government also set aside AU$700,000 in funding for the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to “investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for government services”.
Ignoring for a moment why the government wants to be in this area in the first place, other than to keep some unnecessary bureaucrats within DTA busy doing stuff that they don’t need to do, consider the crowding out effects. There are lots of blockchain/distributed ledger projects currently going on in the private sector and what is the government doing? They are bidding up the price of expertise so that some Minister can wear chinos and an open collar shirt at a press conference to look cool and hip.
But let’s not also forget the left hand – right hand ability of government to throw away tax dollars.
Somewhere else within the near $500 billion per annum bowels of government is an agency called the CSIRO. And within the CSIRO is something called Data61. And what is this government agency called Data61 doing you may ask. Here is a clue:
Funded under the National Innovation and Science Agenda, we have delivered two reports that examine the risks and opportunities of blockchain technology in Australia.
But alas. There are no opportunities for savings within the Commonwealth Government; no efficiencies, no duplications, no unnecessary programs.
Clearly a 23.9% tax to GDP target will keep the growth of government in check.
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