Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mixed bag from the RTA and Australia Post

I had feedback this week from the RTA and Australia Post on some items that I had reported to them.  The RTA took care of one of them in two weeks and the other in 3 months.  Two weeks is a good result, whilst 3 months is stretching the friendship.

The responses state that the RTA had their contractors remove the graffiti at each site, which might explain the long delay.  If they have to log the job into the RTA system, then arrange for the contractor to provide a quote, then issue a purchase order for the job etc etc, that can result in some pretty serious delays in getting approval to do the work.  Paperwork rarely moves quickly through any government agency.

Perhaps what they need to do is to pre-purchase a block of hours from the contractor.  That allows the local RTA manager to get the work done without having to go through all the usual purchasing system rigmarole.  Let's say the RTA buys 100 hours of time from a painting contractor in advance.  When graffiti is reported, the contractor visits the site and gives an idea of how long they think it will take to paint it over.  They might get approval over the phone on the spot for a small job, allowing it to be done immediately.  

For a bigger job (say something requiring 10 hours or more of labour), the contractor might have to provide their estimate in writing, but they can get the approval back much faster, allowing a very quick turnaround.

As for Australia Post, I have reported a number of vandalised letter boxes around the place via the AusPost website.  I got a response last night saying that they could not process my reports until I gave them my home address.

Firstly, they already have my home address, because I have reported these things before.

Secondly, on the AusPost web form, providing your address is not mandatory.

Thirdly, why on earth do they need my address before they can go about cleaning something that their staff visit every single day?  Surely, if they doubt my report, they can simply ask the postie who has that route to provide some feedback?

Bureaucracy will be the death of us all.

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