SCOTLAND'S most senior civil servant has challenged critics of the public sector to spend a week with a member of his staff so they can see how hard they work.At least Mr Elvidge has acknowledged that:
... there is a series of legitimate questions about 'busy doing what?' and how productive people are.But the whole point is that it's almost impossible to measure productivity without there being a market. The Scottish Tories want to reduce the number of civil servants down to pre-devolution levels. But that's just not good enough: pre-devolution, schools and medical services in Scotland were almost entirely run by the state. If we are to (not that we should) force taxpayers to finance the education and health businesses it should be done by issuing vouchers. At least we'd then have the means to measure productivity rather more scientifically than by following our servants (sic) around their offices.
There again, perhaps I've misunderstood Mr Elvidge's kind offer. Following civil servants at work may well be funnier than some of the comedy shows now starting on the Fringe.