Stories of corruption and fraud within government-funded training and support programmes are nothing new. This an inherent training industry phenomema whenever funding is in the equation.
Despite presumably considerable efforts to clean-up and then hush-up bad and illegal practices on the part of government agencies and their contractors, we still hear leakages through the media of more allegations of falsifying beneficiaries signatures, pretending to provide employment, cheating on qualifications “tests”… Yes, it’s the same old same old. And if eventually the rogues are brought to book, are they held aloft as scoundrels and publicised as a deterrent? Of course not! Quietly does it is the name of the game- you have to look hard to find out who’s been caught out.
Call me old-fashioned, but wouldn’t tough penalties and wide publicity for those who cheat be helpful in discouraging others who may be temptedt? So why is this cheating and swindling allowed to be swept under the carpet?
One reason could be that the responsible government agencies feel they’re an inherent part of the problem! Does political self-preservation and jobsworth mentality take priority over honesty and ethics? Is it more about avoiding embarrassment than assuring value for public money? Civil servants and contract managers shouldn’t go to ground when bad news leaks out- they should be jumping on the opportunity of free publicity and media interest to stamp out malpractice among their contractors and demand the toughest sanctions.
And will the level of fraud and ripping-off reduce? Of course not! The demands of cut-backs require contractors to do more for less, with a lighter-touch contract management… now I wonder what the effect of that will be?