"Fortunately, the incident caused no human damage."Like so much of what comes through our in-boxes and in-trays this appears to be written in English, but lacks a certain something.
Similarly, last night I was talking to a fonctionaire last night in the pub. He is a newbie, only been here for a couple of months and he was trying to recover from what must be thought of as a trying day.
He had spent the morning, all four hours of it, trying to persuade his Head of Unit to define the difference between,
1 - An initiative,
2 - A policy
3 - A program
4 - A project
5 - A contract
He is to write a submission of approx 75 pages on a spend of upwards of four billion Euro. All he wanted to do was to define terms before he started. After the four hours the impression he got was that most of the terms were for practicle purposes interchangeable with the meaning of one sliding into the meaning of the next on a scale that stretches from point 1 through to point 5.
Better still he was told that his work should concentrate on the executive summary, which would the only part of his efforts that would be signed off up the command chain. All the analysis and meat would be left to him.
So what we have here is that about 5-10% of the effort, that is the PR aspect, will be checked and signed off, but the 90% actual policy will be left to him, an admittedly highly qualified, but institutionally inexperienced junior functionary. It will not have to be peer reviewed and will be responsible for the way in which 4 billion, yes 4 billion Euros will be spent.
I understand the afternoon was spent trying to define the term used to describe a tender bid. No, no conclusion was reached there either. The fellow surely deserved his beer.
He finished by bemoaning that he would not even be able to produce what he called,
"An architechtural blueprint for following the process procedure (or something very like that)". This is for Data-wharehousing...
See what I mean about a language that at first glance is English but has no real link to the language as she is spoken and understood.