The Grenville Phillips Column – Do Your Job, Please
I have been reading newspapers since I was about 14 years old. Over the past 40 years I have read one constant complaint in the court pages, the issue of lost files. I do not know what file storage and retrieval equipment was available to the prosecutor’s office 40 years ago, but how is it possible that in 2018, files can still go missing?
Why can’t the files be stored on a computer, or on an external hard-drive if security is a concern. Why can’t they be updated as necessary as the case is investigated, and then simply printed when needed by the court. How can files go missing in 2018?
The real question is: why is the prosecutor’s office so badly managed that files can go missing in 2018. Even if the police reports are handwritten, and photographs are developed on photographic paper, these documents can easily be scanned into a computer. If the prosecutor’s office does not have a scanner, then there are cheap scan apps on smartphones that can do an acceptable job. I do not understand how files can go missing in 2018. It simply makes no rational sense.
Even if the physical file was misplaced, or removed, the digital copy on the computer, or stored on the Internet, can be accessed, printed and taken to court. How can any prosecutor stand up in court in 2018, and give the inexcusable excuse that the file is missing? It takes significantly more effort to actually lose a file, than to store it on a computer and print it when it is needed. How is this excuse even tolerated in our courts?
Since the obvious problem is one of poor management, the prosecutor’s office needs to implement the international customer-focused management standard, ISO 9001, with dispatch. The customers of the court may be languishing at HMP Dodds Prison on remand for years, while perhaps the simplest of all court problems remains unsolvable by those responsible for solving crimes.
The implementation of the ISO 9001 quality management standard across all government services, will signal the end of the: lost documents, long time-wasting lines, wasted supplies, unproductivity, inefficiency, and the high cost of doing business with the Government of Barbados. A Solutions Barbados administration is committed to implementing this customer-focused management system immediately upon taking office, for the benefit of us all.
Clearly, losing files for at least 40 years, when the solution is so easily affordable and within easy reach, with almost no effort required to effectively address this simple matter, has to rank as one of the highest forms of mismanagement imaginable. Can somebody please do their job?