Phil: One of the problems the government didn’t foresee with closing a quango down, is what do you do with all the paper ?
All firms produce paper and those whose job is to advise other produce more than most. Working on website, it’s alway frustrated me that I can talk ’till I’m blue in the face about making information easy to access or about how popular electronic communication is but at the end of the day, the “information owner” wants to make a leaflet. Not because I’m wrong (I’m not) but because at some point in the future they will be in a meeting and have to explain to their boss exactly what they have done. At that point all my fine words mean a lot less than being able to plonk down a brightly coloured piece of paper, preferably with lots of pictures.
And before you think that’s a public sector problem, it is, but I’ve seen it happen just as much in the private sector recently. No boss understand or cares about this new -fangled web thing. They want paper. With pictures. And words that aren’t too long.
Of course you don’t just make one bit of paper, you make thousands. These arrive in a lorry and the person who ordered then has the delivery put in a cupboard. You see the trouble with paper, as opposed to the web, is distribution. It’s difficult, expensive and rarely included in the plan.
So, we were in a quango which had half a rainforest of paper to dispose of. I don’t know why but I wondered if the pile could be turned into papier machie and made into a life-size model of Mount Rushmore. It would be a nice tribute to the place.