Would you like an ipod with that underserved bonus?

The department described by outgoing Secretary of State John Reid as "not fit for purpose" is paying out £3.6m in bonuses to its staff. The Home Office, which has recently been split up as it could not cope with the work load, feel one in five of its civil servants deserves a bonus of up to £15k. This despite scandals such as the release of 1000 foreign criminals who should have been deported. This is a massive 75% increase since 2002, begging the questions - have things really got better (75% better!) since 2002? What exactly are these people being rewarded for?

To make matters worse, this also coincides with the news that twenty civil servants have been bought ipods by the Home Office. Apparently this will provide them with leadership lessons. These twenty ipods have been bought at a cost of £8,800 - which seems a little steep to me; the shop they bought them from must have seen them coming. On these special issue ipods are fifty, three- to five-minute leadership lessons. What a waste of money! If these "leadership" lessons really are that useful, can't they watch them on their PCs or laptops or whatever else they are issued with? In my experience, these sort of e-learning tools are not what they are cracked up to be anyway. And after they have watched their ca.4 hours of leadership lessons, then what? No doubt they load it up with all they can from itunes and listen away. A few grand in bonuses and a free ipod - not bad for working in a department that is not fit for purpose.