Regardless of which government program you are involved with and regardless of what level of government you work at, please understand that data format is crucial for any kind of organization. Organizations live or die based on how well they process information. Information is needed for organizations to do stuff, to plan ahead, to measure results and otherwise justify its existence to the people who ultimately bankroll that government agency. Now, this might be news to a lot of people because for the longest time there is such a thing as governmental institutional entitlement. For example, if an agency has been around for over one hundred years, it's very easy for people to think that agency has a right to continue living or existing for an indefinite period of time. This is a serious problem because originally and ideally, government divisions and organizations should only exist if they produce some sort of good. In other words, there has to be some sort of result, and the result here is not just some random feel-good, symbolic outcome. Instead, it has to speak to actual needs that were elaborated on and influenced the formation of that government institution itself.
Unfortunately, this is not happening. In fact, at many different levels, this is not happening and has completely fallen apart.
A good example of this is the rural electrification administration in a federal government. Did you know that there is an agricultural rural electrification program in this day and age? I know you’re probably laughing out loud because regardless of where you throw a human being in the United States, there is sure to be power in any kind of town, suburb or city setting.
In fact, the only place where there is no electricity is if you live in a part of your state that has been designated as some sort of no-development or wildlife area. Outside of that, the state power corporation should have you on its grid. That’s what it’s supposed to do.
Unfortunately, the rural electrification program is still alive. Electricity has arrived one hundred percent in the United States, but this bureaucracy still exists. How come?
Well, this really highlights the fact that when a government agency is created, it is not going to die. It’s like Dracula. It’s going to continue to live. Why?
It’s very simple. Once people start getting jobs, there is such a thing as institutional survival. It will come up with all sorts of reasons to get a bigger and bigger budget. It will come up with all sorts of justification why it should not be phased out.
I share this with you because there are bureaucratic obstacles that get in the way of smooth data transmission. The slower the data, the more inconclusive the results. Alternatively, the more inefficient the overall data management system becomes, the more peace of mind these local bureaucrats get.
They feel that if things are inefficient, they will stick around because every government worker’s worst dream is for the government to become so efficient that it starts cutting costs. If the government can do that, it can easily knock off a significant chunk of its current work force. That’s a lot of people suddenly unemployed, and it all boils down to proper standards and efficiency.
So, do yourself a big favor. Wrap your mind around the fact that article format is just as important as the data it holds because this goes a long way in making the government efficient. However, as explained above, this is not going to happen overnight. There is going to be a tremendous amount of resistance to this kind of initiative.