Wednesday, August 15, 2007

DBERR official should be disciplined

The Guardian revealed on August 13th that a government official at the Dept for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) has recommended that HMG fudges the figures on the UKs targets for renewables, because we are on course to fail the EU target of 20% for 2020.

We currently get 2% of our energy from renewables, the EU average is 7% and Germany gets 13%. Rather than pulling its finger out, the government officials' response is to obfuscate. And this while HMG is boasting that it leads the world in climate change matters. Inter alia the official recommended classifying nuclear as renewable – an outrageous falsehood, because nuclear power is most definitely finite.

This is clearly unacceptable.

This raises the question about civil service responsibility. Some of us feel that government officials should be held responsible for their actions. Others - I believe mainly ex-civil servants – wanted to conserve the current procedures, where elected Ministers are held responsible for the actions of government officials. The weakness of the current situation of course is that officials’ actions are divorced from responsibility, and therefore they have no motive to learn from their mistakes. Indeed they benefit from their mistakes, since they are rewarded (if the Minister resigns) with a fresh, new pliable minister.

In the present case I propose that Greens should call for the DBERR official who proposed these policies, particularly the lie about nuclear power, should be identified and disciplined, preferably by demotion and/or re-education.

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