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Bureaucratic SNAFU

已有 1397 次阅读 2019-7-15 21:04 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察

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Bureaucratic SNAFU

First, a word of explanation for the WWII word “SNAFU” which stand for “Situation Normal All Fouled Up” and which it is often used to describe typical bureaucratic inefficiency and incompetence in any administration. Second, in politics it is often for winner of elections to reward his/her supporters by appointing the supporter’s relative or friends to government positions for which they may not be qualified or ready for. Usually these are positions in non-controversial bureaucracies that more or less run on auto-pilot and public paid little attention to. For example, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) which issue driver licenses and vehicle titles and license plates.

When a driver commits serious motor vehicle crimes such and “driving while drunk” or “hit-and-run”, the RMV can suspend your license to drive as a matter of public safety. However, if a driver with Massachusetts license commits such a crime in another state, s/he can be fined or even put in jail, but that state cannot suspend his/her Massachusetts driver license since they have no authority over the RMV of Mass. All they can do is to notify the Mass RMV about such a violation and leave the Mass RMV to decide what to do. Here is where SNAFU occurs: the other State can forget to notify the Mass RMV, and the Mass RMV can forget to act upon such notification all due to clerical mistakes. Often such mistakes go un-noticed by anyone except when they resulted in serious tragedies to innocent parties. Recently precisely such a case occurred. One young Mass driver who had several serious driving violations in neighboring states of Mass killed seven innocent bikers while driving a commercial truck. Because of the serious of the accident, newspaper started looking into the matter and discovered that the driver should have his license to drive suspended because of violations in a neighboring state. But the notification from the other state was simply ignored and forgotten in a dead file. What is worse is that there are 1900 similar cases involving other drivers that should have their license to drive suspended but were similarly ignored. This led to an investigation which resulted in the resignation of the head of the RMV and many other actions as well as the fact that our states were deficient in notifying other state about serious violation of other state drivers in our state. It was a scandal! Without a free press, such SNAFUs will be covered up and go un-noticed!




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