Archive for January, 2016

Taking Graeber’s analysis from “The Utopia of Rules” to heart, I think he is right to emphasise that despite the rhetoric of reducing administration through a freeing of resources by the privatisation of administrative and bureaucratic processes and outsourcing those services, what happens, in reality, is that we are all further embroiled in filling forms and that much of activity generated by the Internet and the use of Open Source software is focused on forms, administration and data handling. “Meanwhile, in the few areas in which free, imaginative creativity actually is fostered, such as in open source Internet software development, it is ultimately marshalled in order to create even more, and even more effective, platforms for the filling out of forms. This is what I mean by “bureaucratic technologies”: administrative imperatives have become not the means, but the end of technological development.” (Graeber 2015 p142) Following on from my previous post, it seems to me that Lea, and Moore, to a lesser extent premised their view of public sector work and “public value” on the idea of public sector employees being at the heart of policy formation and influencing the direction of policy through their embeddedness in those services and their regular contact with service users and local politicians. (more…)

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