Have you ever wondered about the logical justifications underlying some procedures and actions? I usually deeply wonder about the underlying justifications behind some individuals’ or institutions’ actions and procedures but it is not always that I come up with some logical justifications. I might ask other people why something is being done this and that way but I find that these people have also no idea about the reasons. The other day, a relative of mine was asked to bring in alternative thesis titles for evaluation at the public university she is studying at. The strange thing here is that she had to bring the titles in hard copy form, printed on paper, instead of sending the titles via email to the person in concern. When she asked why she could not send her titles via email, the answer she got was ‘we do not work with emails’. Now, how strange can that be? I could not find any logical justification for why a well-known public university would require its students to travel all the way to campus in order to submit titles that could have been sent via email within fractions of seconds.
Have you ever been to the bank to withdraw some cash from your account? Of course you have, no wonder about that. What I find strange there is that the clerks ask you to present your identification card in addition to your bank book which by the way has also your photo attached to it. So, it is quite clear who the bank book belongs to. The use of the identification card is something that I do not quite understand because when one first opens a bank account, the bank clerks check your ID card and attach your photo to your book. So, what is the need of asking each time to present your ID card although the bank book should have been quite sufficient?
Have you ever been to a public office to get a service that you urgently need and end up returning to where you came from because the employees that provide the service are in a meeting? I have to say, meetings in the public sector are quite endless. And you never know when they will finish and when you can finally come back to get your service. The websites of these institutions are of no use when it comes to informing the public about the hours at which the services can be provided. The only option you have is to try your luck by visiting the institutions on every other day and see if they are open for business. Besides, isn’t the whole purpose of having endless meetings to make public services more efficient and effective? Then if so, how can these meetings be the very reason public services are being disrupted? What is the logical justification behind the endless meetings?
Unjustified procedures and actions with no logical explanations are in my opinion costly to the public and cause large transaction costs. Procedures and actions should in my opinion be well justified and should lead to the minimum costs both to the service users and providers. Take the roads of Addis for instance. Proper road maintenances take place only when the roads are completely unusable and therefore require a large outlay of maintenance costs. Authorities ignore small potholes or fill these temporarily with clays and wait for these to turn into major road destructions. Wouldn’t it have been more logical to properly maintain the small potholes before they completely destroy the roads?