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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fighting the bureaucracy

Interesting article in this morning's Western Mail about the problems facing those interested in getting projects off the ground with the help of European Convergence funding. They say that ambitious projects aimed at boosting the economy in Wales’ poorest communities are being held back by Assembly Government bureaucracy. Some project ideas first mooted more than 18 months ago have still not been approved by the Welsh European Funding Office causing immense frustration to those involved:

Wefo’s website, www.wefo.wales.gov.uk, contains a list of project ideas submitted by a variety of organisations. In some cases, ideas dating back to the first half of 2007 are still being evaluated.

One would-be project manager, who did not wish to be named, said: “The whole process is taking much longer than we expected. You fill in a form providing all the answers, and then you get a further set of questions. This goes on and on, and is immensely frustrating.

“The whole point is to create new jobs to raise the prosperity of the region, yet there seems to be no sense of urgency on the part of Wefo to make sure the evaluation is completed and a decision made.

“The Convergence programme has a finite timescale and the worry is that the longer the evaluation takes, the greater the chance that the project will have to be shortened.

“We have spoken to quite a few other projects, and we know they are as frustrated as we are. Ultimately it’s the people of Wales and the Welsh economy that are being let down by the failure to make decisions.”

Projects are also responsible for finding “match funding”, and some managers are worried that the failure to get the green light

Clearly there is a problem in getting money out to where it will do some good. That is not new. WEFO has always seemed to be an obstacle and has caused much frustration amongst all those who have had dealings with them. This though is our last chance. Once this convergence funding is spent it is likely that there will not be anymore.

We need to get it right but we also need to be seen to be creating jobs and moving the economy forward. If that is a priority for the One Wales government as well then they need to start doing something about this bureaucracy.
It would appear that procrastination is the name of the game with WAG.

How long have the Fuel Poverty Figures by Ward been due date for publication?

What do they do all day these WAG employees, sit there with their thumbs up their arses?

It's ok for them, they got a job for life, no matter how badly the show is run, but they aren't creating any jobs or work for the rest of the population of Wales, in fact they are holding things up!
there's a lot more to this, is anyone is concerned enough to dig.
The system militates against smaller organisations.

The Western Mail are starting to realise that this is fast becoming a national scandal. The economy is falling down around our ears, and we are incapable of distributing this money. What does that say about Wales' ability to run its own affairs !!!

Why is no-one calling for a government enquiry into this ?

I suspect it is because there are too many vested interests at stake.

It is down to our elected representatives to make these processes work. If they can not, who in their right mind is going to vote for extended powers ??
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