Officials at UK Trade and Investment, the Whitehall body that flies the flag for British business abroad with a little help from the Duke of York, have been instructed to burn through a spare £1m.
Sir Andrew Cahn, the quango\’s chief executive, sent an email to staff saying that the Foreign Office had failed to spend all of its budget this financial year and was keen to go on a splurge.
In the email, leaked to the Daily Mail, Cahn said: \”The FCO is heading for an underspend and wants to get money out of the door. If we spend money in this financial year on a one-off basis then we can have at least £1m.\”
Never, never, underspend a budget because if you do next year\’s will be cut and that means a diminution in the importance of those running the organisation.
It happens in all organisations of course: big corporates are no better. But at least there there is a countervailing force, the aim of the organisation being to turn a profit and thus control such urges. No such force exists in pure, government, bureaucracies. So this happens every damn year.
This is all well laid out here and if you haven\’t read it yet, you probably should.