Friday, November 28, 2008

Privatization, what is it good for?

It's been an interesting week. On Monday, in the UK Government's Pre-Budget Report, one of the less reported items was "reviews of the Met Office, Oil & Pipeline Agency...

So maybe, just maybe, in a few months my employer will no longer be owned by the Ministry of Defence.  Okay, for most folks in computing that probably doesn't seem like a big deal.  But for an organisation that's existed for over 150 years, that's a big change. Especially so for those employees who give the impression of having been there for most of that century and a half.

National meteorological services (or NMS's as we call 'em) are almost always state owned, and pretty much every country has one - even Somalia is trying to re-establish(*) one right now.  I doubt it's because having crazy bearded scientists  who claim to predict the weather is a source of great national pride, just that in an age of air travel, climate change, and  expectation that governments anticipate, rather than just deal with, disaster having a decent weather service is a necessity.

Anyway, now there's some new things for me to learn.  This looks to be a useful resource -


* Typing this "re" reminded me of a recent internal email advising staff who had signed a security document, that had since been amended, that they would be "asked to resign".  How we all laughed!

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