Saturday, August 19, 2006

Outsourcing. An insider’s tale?

I cannot swear by this story. It could well be apocryphal. But an acquaintance of mine says he got it from an insider who is a hands-on practitioner of outsourcing in the Brihanmumbai Mahanagarpalika’s Conservancy Services Department. By that, he means (I presume), what the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai now pompously calls the ‘Solid Waste Management Department’, of course. This intrepid band of dedicated public servants are supposed to do “street sweeping”, “collection of solid wastes including temporary storage”, ”removal and transportation of solid wastes”, “disposal of solid wastes”, “disposal of dead bodies of animals” and “construction, maintenance and cleansing urinals and public sanitary conveniences”, if one were to believe what it says at rather than what greets one’s sight at virtually every street corner every day. My acquaintance’s informant claims to be on the payrolls of this Department, signs in every day and collects his dues on every pay day. However, he outsources the actual performance of his duties to someone else who gets a cut from his monthly salary. Or, so he says. While his proxy is doing the work, the outsourcer is out doing some other more pleasant and less messy job from which too he earns money. This deception apparently has been going on for years and he is apparently not the only person to practice it. It makes eminent sense to get done what one doesn’t want to do from someone else and pay that someone else for it. That’s the logic of all outsourcing, isn’t it?

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