Psych test

This is interesting: last week, the government quietly announced it will soon be surveying the experiences of the province's mental health and addictions services patients. According to a bid document posted on the government's procurement Website on March 1, the survey aims to "measure the level of satisfaction" with those services, enhance their performance and increase public accountability. The document states this is the first time the government steering committee responsible for patient satisfaction has conducted such a poll. The following is a complete copy of that request for proposal.


The first time this committee has conducted such a poll? Even if this is technically true, it misleads because performance surveys have been conducted with clients repeatedly. For example, when health authorities decided to renew or not renew contracts with various service suppliers in years past, this was done according to detailed evaluations of each contractor. Of course, those included client surveys. Look in the files, the reports are there.

Shall we assume that the people this new contract is intended to reward are special friends of BC Liberals? You betcha.

RE: Your "Public Eye Reads" section pointed to the March 9th Vaughn Palmer column regarding the 6 questions put to the 4-person panel asked to report on the 8 public watchdog agencies in BC in 4 weeks. This watchdog review panel work, and the mental health services survey, are both in essence "satisfaction surveys", but they are being handled by the government in very different ways. Why?

How is it possible that in 4 weeks this 4-person panel can investigate 8 complex public bodies (e.g. ombudsman, police complaint commissioner, auditor-general, etc.) to determine the answer to these questions, in particular question number 5: Do effective mechanisms exist to ensure that activities of each statutory officer are conducted fairly and transparently?

In order to answer that question, they will have had to review a representative sampling of the officer's judgments (and that would require extensive review of case files). As a management consultant who has done this kind of work for several governments for several decades, it's simply not possible to do this work for one agency in 4 weeks, much less for 8 agencies.

Something funny is going on here.

Now we learn that the province has commissioned a survey of mental health patients to determine their level of satisfaction with the government services provided to them. Why aren't the clients of the 8 watchdog organizations being surveyed to determine their level of satisfaction? That would certainly help answer some of the 6 questions, in particular whether there are effective mechanisms to ensure activities are conducted "fairly and transparently."

This is odd because when new laws are being brought in, or changes made to existing laws, the public is asked for their input (e.g. Adult Guardianship, Dec 2008), yet no public input is being sought to help this watchdog review panel reach its conclusions. If mental health clients are asked for their input, surely the clients of these watchdog agencies (i.e. the citizens of BC) should be deemed capable of providing useful information too. After all, aren't the citizens of BC the ultimate and only clients of these watchdog agencies?

Related Note: it has recently been announced, that now the government (according to the Public Guardian) is not going to implement the new Adult Guardianship laws, even though they are ready to go. Reason: no money.

No money to enact laws for which the work has already been completed??? Has our government collapsed?

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