Message to Gov't: What the...?
Simplicity not in Gov'ts Vocabulary
As TWI blog readers have probably gathered, I’m a pretty simple guy. The J-skills are oozing with simplicity, so I naturally gravitate in their direction. Give me Job Relations any day and keep your fancy systems; good ole’ fashion common sense usually does the trick. Job Instruction is so much more effective than a video, webcast, presentation or anything else I’ve seen. Ask Toyota, they haven’t changed JI for many decades and it seems to be working for them in building stability in the workplace. Yet, I see over and over again, managers yielding to the onslaught of “the newest technology” or tool that is being peddled in their direction.
So, imagine many Americans disbelief, dismay and finally, bewilderment at a major breach of security that occurred two evenings ago. Apparently a TSA manual was posted online as part of a contract solicitation:
The problem is that although secure sections of the manual were redacted electronically, the redacted graphics were soon removed by hackers, bloggers or somebody with more time on their hands then you and I.
What was redacted? Oh you know, small, incidental details like: security features (and photos) of government ids, who is exempt from screening, list of countries for profiling foreign nationals, you know - little things. How could this have been prevented? Well, lets start with a simple $1.39 Black Sharpie from Staples. But that would have been: well, simple. What's that, you say? 'This is the government of the United States, the most advanced country in the world? We have to do better than a sharpie?' Oh I'm sorry, I didn't know that...our government, comprised of the greatest leaders on earth have to do this right. In short, we need to use T-E-C-H-N-O-L-O-G-Y.
And in the face of a problem...what is the most logical thing to do: lie. "The agency said the posted manual, dated May 2008, was outdated and was never implemented. Six more recent versions have been issued since that one, a TSA official said."
So, the government was using an outdated manual from six versions past to solicit contractors in current work? I'm sure there is a very logical reason for this. Are you feeling secure yet?
How much time and money was spent on solicitation? Screening contractors? Hiring? Training? How much money was spent on the redaction software? How many people were required to redact this 93 page manual using the latest-and-greatest-I-can't-believe-everybody-isn't-using-this-21st-century-sophisticated-software? How much time was spent proofing the redacted document and how much blind faith was put in the technology? Was it field tested?
Yes kids, technology brings about all sorts of innovations and productivity to the world! And don't worry, the government is creating jobs! Things like id recalls, more contracting, more solicitation, re-contracting and re-solicitation because of new manual revisions, increased airport screenings, longer wait times, reissue of ids, repairing foreign diplomatic relations.....YES, America's youth! There is a job waiting for you in the government, right now! Come and share in the wonders and pleasure of transferring the wealth of your neighbors to a government that creates no wealth!
Mark Warren and I have spent hundreds of hours (maybe thousands, Mark?) going through thousands of pages of TWI materials in the past few years. Dear Homeland Security, I would have charged you only $20,000 to sit down with a sharpie and redact the manual. That would probably have been a savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars for me and my fellow taxpaying citizens. Give me a call, we can talk about the wonderful things we can do with office supplies.
What is the cost of security now? People wonder why anything associated with the government costs more in the long run. Here is a great example. Governors wonders why the governed holds them in low regard when stupid things like this happen. Hmm. Maybe they don't wonder at all.
Hey, here is a great idea...let's trust these yoyo's to manage my kids' health care!
Judge and Blame
Naturally, the media and officials are looking for “underlings” to hang.
Haven't you heard? The government is getting smarter, lean and mean!