Everyday Computing, Features

Cock and Bull

Image of Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

THE recent controversy surrounding the government’s untimely cancellation of a June 22nd meeting with the SLMDA, due to the low turn out of the membership, is difficult to fathom. Not just because of the impact of scores of medical practitioners leaving their offices to attend any meeting, but the thought process — the expectation — that these practitioners would even want to attend such a meeting when they already have an elected team, an executive body, whose purpose is to represent them and their views at such events. No wonder that the SLMDA released a robust statement on June 27th, accusing the government of a lack of transparency and disrespect.

While on the face of it, the government’s expressed desire to meet all the SLMDA members sounds noble and even plausible, when you scratch the surface, it seems woefully impractical considering the combined demands on the available time of our medical practitioners.

The work of an ICT consultant heavily involves dealing with computer systems, including advising on the design of computer systems, upgrades, policy changes, strategy, and a variety of related issues. Ultimately these impact on the people, the users of the computer systems. This involves extensive discussions with the directly affected parties, and other stakeholders. Typically, only a representative sample of stakeholders is ever consulted, depending whether they are judges as key or non-key stakeholders.

Then, the perspectives offered by each stakeholder must be assessed, cross-checked, and scrutinised by the consultant before arriving at a conclusion or making acceptable recommendations. This is neither easy nor speedy work, and accounts for significant time spent undertaking such work, since the gaps between the stakeholder perspectives require significant effort to resolve. Therefore, the cancellation of a meeting on short notice due to the unavailability of floor members despite the presence of elected representatives, does not pass the normal test of reasonableness.

Following suit, the impact of such an excuse could justify the following:
* Requiring a referendum before passing a law;
* Stopping work in schools, offices, hospitals and factories to discuss staff matters;
* Disregarding decisions by government leaders without full cabinet meetings.

Given how busy our own leaders are, particularly our peripatetic Prime Minister, one can conclude this a poor course of action. No doubt this controversy will unfold as more information comes to light, but the story does not add up.

To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The VOICE.

About the Author
Dr. Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia. His expertise includes systems analysis, design, and capacity building.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *