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Privatise the Airport

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25 minutes ago, Knoxville said:

Sell it to a company who'll not only replace the moody staff but invest some money in the place improving the experience, if they're the lasting faces when people leave the IOM.........god help IOM PLC.

Um ... you do realise that those security staff are the part that has already been privatised? 

So consider yourself lucky - you're already getting what you asked for.  

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On 7/21/2019 at 7:47 AM, asitis said:

Anyone know who the management at arms length from Government is going to be ?

 

this guy.mrtickle-512-1.jpg.75ab7f14c4e92c8c82f1db379c56758f.jpg

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3 hours ago, Knoxville said:

 

Sell it to a company who'll not only replace the moody staff but invest some money in the place improving the experience, if they're the lasting faces when people leave the IOM.........god help IOM PLC.

 

 

There’s a very subtle difference to arms lengthing between a successful commercial business, like the Steam Packet or MEA ( ignoring the cable loan ), which make money, and the Meat Plant, public transport, Flour Mill, Manx Radio and Airport, which don’t.

The arms length for the latter is illusory as soon as investment is needed, that’s still politically controlled.

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If it is that the current management are to continue in post I cannot understand why you would want that to happen. An arms length operation does not suddenly explain why they have no idea what the losses are or indeed where they are and why ?  The situation has festered for years where public money is the backstop for management failings and accountability !

The skill set required to run any business when every problem and service failing is solved with cash is entirely different to the set required to change and improve when no cash is available. IMO the current management posses neither skill set !

 

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1 minute ago, asitis said:

If it is that the current management are to continue in post I cannot understand why you would want that to happen. An arms length operation does not suddenly explain why they have no idea what the losses are or indeed where they are and why ?  The situation has festered for years where public money is the backstop for management failings and accountability !

The skill set required to run any business when every problem and service failing is solved with cash is entirely different to the set required to change and improve when no cash is available. IMO the current management posses neither skill set !

 

Looking at the bus drivers handouts today this will probably be yet another excuse to hand out cash bonanzas to the management team for changes in contracts. We’re clearly awash with cash! 

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It's definitely worth reading the actual consultants report. I hope our politicians have, as the case for arms length/corporatisation whatever is very slim. It's also slightly out of date, as since then the airport police have been privatised, so the staff costs figures/savings won't be right any more. There seems to be 2 main issues in the report - one is that it's hard to quantify certain costs that are done centrally by government, such as IT, HR/payroll, building maintenance etc. Whether that's a bad thing or not is debatable. Certainly those costs would be passed on to a new operator. The other point the report highlights is that they think the airport could better realise 'commercial opportunities'. We know what that means. Excessive parking charges, charging to drop off, taxi surcharges, paying to jump the security queue, no actual seats in the departure lounge apart from in cafe's, loads of whiskey and perfume all over the place etc etc. And it suggests employing a 'commercial manager' at £75K to oversee all these lovely ideas. But it's OK, the info desk will be replaced by a notice board, so the 'savings' will pay for that.

And at the end, the report suggests a slight reduction in the 'loss', by maybe half a mil or so, in five years time. Except, it also says the income from departure tax is higher than the loss. So it's not actually a loss.

Also - check out the findings re EasyJet and related income per passenger, and value to IOM. Very interesting.

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9 minutes ago, flaps said:

It's definitely worth reading the actual consultants report. I hope our politicians have, as the case for arms length/corporatisation whatever is very slim. It's also slightly out of date, as since then the airport police have been privatised, so the staff costs figures/savings won't be right any more. There seems to be 2 main issues in the report - one is that it's hard to quantify certain costs that are done centrally by government, such as IT, HR/payroll, building maintenance etc. Whether that's a bad thing or not is debatable. Certainly those costs would be passed on to a new operator. The other point the report highlights is that they think the airport could better realise 'commercial opportunities'. We know what that means. Excessive parking charges, charging to drop off, taxi surcharges, paying to jump the security queue, no actual seats in the departure lounge apart from in cafe's, loads of whiskey and perfume all over the place etc etc. And it suggests employing a 'commercial manager' at £75K to oversee all these lovely ideas. But it's OK, the info desk will be replaced by a notice board, so the 'savings' will pay for that.

And at the end, the report suggests a slight reduction in the 'loss', by maybe half a mil or so, in five years time. Except, it also says the income from departure tax is higher than the loss. So it's not actually a loss.

Also - check out the findings re EasyJet and related income per passenger, and value to IOM. Very interesting.

In my experience "Consultancies" tend to be commissioned by weak management for two reasons:

#1 - they don't trust their own employees

#2 - they need to offload the responsibility

The ridiculous thing about option #1 is that the first thing the "consultants" will do is go round the employees to find out what is what. This is invariably a pointless exercise as the employees, mindful that their jobs are probably on the line, will be very guarded about what they impart.

Option #2 is the classic weak management backstop cop-out. They will implement the findings in full. If it's a success they will claim the credit. If it's a disaster it's not their fault because "I hired the best people (public) money could buy....."

The airport is clearly being badly managed, which starts at the top.  Those responsible should be redeployed into the jobs market....

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One has to ask the question...... whilst all this has been going on (the losses), what have IOMG Internal Auditors been doing all this time? Were they ever sent in to look at the numbers?

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20 minutes ago, Andy Onchan said:

One has to ask the question...... whilst all this has been going on (the losses), what have IOMG Internal Auditors been doing all this time? Were they ever sent in to look at the numbers?

It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it went:

Observation : there have been no financials from the airport

Conclusion : everything must be fine then....

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3 minutes ago, Andy Onchan said:

One has to ask the question...... whilst all this has been going on (the losses), what have IOMG Internal Auditors been doing all this time? Were they ever sent in to look at the numbers?

Who knows?  Their reports are secret and they only look at what they are told to.  And because a lot of the accountancy problems stem from centrally imposed decisions - such as moving stuff to the Cabinet Office without any mechanism for recharge to Departments[1] - then there will be a corporate desire not to look at the consequences of bad decisions, especially expensive ones.

Even in the York Aviation report there are indications of incredibly loose and incurious accountancy practice generally.  For example:

Quote

3.10  It should be noted that we have omitted, in both Table 3.1 and Table 3.3, a budgeted cost for ‘loan charges and grants’ which is allocated to the Ports Division and amounts to a total of £3.4m for 2017/18. This relates to the Government’s way of funding capital projects, whereby the Government raises loans to fund the projects and the repayments of the loans are allocated to the relevant cost centre, in this case the Ports Division. Before 2017/18, these repayments were made centrally by the Treasury. These charges cover loans for capital projects dating back up to 30 years and it has not been possible to separate charges relating to Harbour projects from Airport projects

And yet if calculations are being made to calculate the overall figure, it must be based on that for individual capital projects which will have different total spends, start dates, repayment periods and so on.  How difficult is it to look down the list and and separate those for the Airport and Harbours?

Indeed, as the report says at the end of the previous paragraph (after pointing to a mysterious £100k difference): There are other discrepancies that we cannot explain and for which we have been unable to obtain an explanation.

There is occasionally talk of beefing up the investigatory powers of the Tynwald PAC, but maybe a better idea would be giving them control of internal audit with statutory powers to look at anything.  But while the most critical Tynwald reports can be voted down or ignored because of inbuilt majority for CoMin, itself putty in the hands of their civil servants, there seems little point.

[1]  This seems to give the Cabinet Office licence to spend what it wants because it assumes that centralising things must automatically save money, while, with no cross-Department charging, the individual Departments can equally treat the services they receive as free and so spend their budget elsewhere.  As ever things have been organised so as to minimise responsibility and maximise spending.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

Who knows?  Their reports are secret and they only look at what they are told to.  And because a lot of the accountancy problems stem from centrally imposed decisions - such as moving stuff to the Cabinet Office without any mechanism for recharge to Departments[1] - then there will be a corporate desire not to look at the consequences of bad decisions, especially expensive ones.

I saw a reference to an FOi response Buster has apparently posted up on FB which states that the airport has something like 110 full time employees. With about 40 police and fire people on top of that. That’s why this stuff happens because some crappy airport at the arse end of nowhere with really low passenger throughput can justify employing over 100 to provide an almost third world service to our residents and visitors.  

Edited by thesultanofsheight

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38 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

Who knows?  Their reports are secret and they only look at what they are told to.  And because a lot of the accountancy problems stem from centrally imposed decisions - such as moving stuff to the Cabinet Office without any mechanism for recharge to Departments[1] - then there will be a corporate desire not to look at the consequences of bad decisions, especially expensive ones.

Even in the York Aviation report there are indications of incredibly loose and incurious accountancy practice generally.  For example:

And yet if calculations are being made to calculate the overall figure, it must be based on that for individual capital projects which will have different total spends, start dates, repayment periods and so on.  How difficult is it to look down the list and and separate those for the Airport and Harbours?

Indeed, as the report says at the end of the previous paragraph (after pointing to a mysterious £100k difference): There are other discrepancies that we cannot explain and for which we have been unable to obtain an explanation.

There is occasionally talk of beefing up the investigatory powers of the Tynwald PAC, but maybe a better idea would be giving them control of internal audit with statutory powers to look at anything.  But while the most critical Tynwald reports can be voted down or ignored because of inbuilt majority for CoMin, itself putty in the hands of their civil servants, there seems little point.

[1]  This seems to give the Cabinet Office licence to spend what it wants because it assumes that centralising things must automatically save money, while, with no cross-Department charging, the individual Departments can equally treat the services they receive as free and so spend their budget elsewhere.  As ever things have been organised so as to minimise responsibility and maximise spending.

I should imagine they were told that delving into the murky world of IOMG financing was beyond their remit.

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Posted (edited)

But your comparisons are all misleading. You're comparing apples with oranges.

The Gov is operating an important public service. Some of the operating costs are recoverable from the users and some aren't. This isn't a profit or loss situation.

Yes, the taxpayer could save money, but ultimately the customers will pay and they're mostly taxpayers.

Buster's FOI is here however its meaningless as it doesn't indicate what the salaries are it refers to salary costs which are likely to include employers' national insurance and probably pension contributions too.

DOI.pdf

 

Edited by piebaps
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22 minutes ago, thesultanofsheight said:

I saw a reference to an FOi response Buster has apparently posted up on FB which states that the airport has something like 110 full time employees. With about 40 police and fire people on top of that. That’s why this stuff happens because some crappy airport at the arse end of nowhere with really low passenger throughput can justify employing over 100 to provide an almost third world service to our residents and visitors.  

It's here (under DoI/25/07/2019/Dept staff employed on full time contracts as those servlet things never seem to work):

Quote

"The number of staff employed by the Dept at the Airport on full time part time and zero hour contracts. The annual cost of the above and the same for the fire service employed at the Airport"


The numbers of staff employed by the Department at the Airport on full time, part time and zero hour contracts are:

Full time: 107
Part time: 6
Zero hour: None


The Numbers of Rescue and Fire Fighting staff employed at the Airport are:
Full time: 31
Part time: None
Zero hour: None


The Director of Ports and the Ports Business Manager have been excluded from the staff numbers as they are working in dual roles between the Airport and Harbours. The annual staff salary costs for the above Airport employees are as follows;
Airport staff salary costs are £6,745,972 in total.

The Rescue & Fire Fighting Services staff salary cost is £1,867,340.

The Rescue & Fire Fighting Services staff salary cost figure is included in, therefore a part of, the above overall total Airport staff salary cost.

Remember this won't include those working in security, the airport security, working on concessions etc.

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There is something wrong here.

Take 1867340 from 6745972 and you get 4878632 to be divvied up between 110 employees if you fold in the part-timers.

Now when I was doing it a good few years ago you to arrive at an appoximate employee cost you at least doubled the salary and if there were generous bennies you could even triple it! That makes up a "Fully Loaded Headcount" for costing purposes.

Divide 4878632 by 110 and you get £44,351.20p. Which seems neither salary nor "Fully Loaded Headcount" to me.

There's some gen missing somewhere...

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