We have yet another Hillsborough County agency fighting against the tides of change and modernization.
TAMPA — Hillsborough County’s Civil Service Board will consider on Tuesday spending $75,000 to lobby state legislators against a proposal that would strip the board of some of its power over county employees.Like the wasteful Public Transit Commission (see here, here, here and here), the Civil Service Board was created by the state legislature (in the 1950s!). Like the PTC, Hillsborough County is unique in the state with such a board.
The proposal pits the civil service board against 21 elected and appointed agencies, from the children’s board to the county commission.
Civil service board Director Dane Petersen said his agency saves taxpayers money by centralizing the kind of human resources activities that each of its 21 clients would have to do themselves.There is also a lot of bureaucracy and inefficiencies from centralization in any organization. Delegation to those actually responsible for the outcomes leads to more timely and less costly decision making. Who knows better about the skills and resources needed at a particular agency than those who work at it every day?
“There’s a lot of economy of scale that comes with us,” Petersen said.
Even the Tribune editorial recommends reforming the Civil Service Board:
Hillsborough County commissioners had good reason to vote unanimously to pursue legislation loosening civil service controls over government workers, and the Civil Service Board should not use county tax dollars to fight the plan.
Hillsborough is the only county in the state with such an elaborate civil service system, and the evidence is strong that a restructuring is in order.
Board members also should remember no one is talking about getting rid of civil service.
But its extensive reach is no longer necessary or appropriate.
Nothing like this would ever happen int he private sector. It the mission changes, or new inefficiencies need to be introduced to be competitive, it happens. If you fight the change, you're gone. Be a team player. Don't fight the boss. But you can fight the boss in the public sector.
Like the PTC the Civil Service Board is considering hiring a lobbyist for the state legislature to help save its hide. Since both agencies were created by the state, they can set up their defenses in Tallahassee to protect themselves.
Unlike the PTC, the Civil Service Board is totally funded with your direct tax dollars.
Your tax dollars at work, paying lobbyists, protecting civil servants from serving you more effectively.
I should note the PTC does not get its money directly from taxpayers, but from the public transportation companies it regulates... taxis, limos, ambulances... which of course are paid by you... under the power of the law of the state. A distinction without a difference.
Your fee dollars at work, paying lobbyists, protecting civil servants from serving you more effectively.
Here we are with 2 county agencies that no one else in the state needs are fighting us so they can continue to provide overpriced services we don't need.
This is yet another proof of Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people:The PTC and Civil Service Board are protecting their own turf at the expense of their mission and their customers.
First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.
Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.
Updated. Fixed a typo on the title.