Apocalyptically Dull

Day Four

The Ministry’s Chief Security Officer drafted Business Continuity Plan Gamma back in the days when the contagion that most occupied our colleagues over at Health was some multi drug resistant strain of chlamydia those crazy kids in Fielding were squirting into each other.

That was the military fantasist CSO. He’d take two weeks off every duck season to prove his manhood by obliterating harmless creatures too stupid to know what gunpowder is, let alone appreciate that death is visiting them courtesy of a Cosmi Autoloader just like the one Mussolini shot their brethren with somewhere else in happier times. It’s not clear whose glory was meant to be reflecting on whom.

He got fired ages ago for negging a Graduate Policy Analyst, which goes some way to explaining why we have a BCP Alpha, a BCP Gamma, and a BCP Delta, but no BCP Beta. I guess these things balance out; Information Systems and Strategy insists on calling just about every project they do Something Beta.

I imagine he’s doing well now.

The plan itself was one of those curiosities departments accumulate in their electronic filing that never get deleted and only get read when someone has spent far too long with nothing to do but is aware that internet time is clocked and reported to line managers.

It’s the kind of document that can only have been written by a man who already hates his job. Fair enough. The CSO’s duties usually amount to reading a pile of papers each day and deciding which of two stamps, “IN CONFIDENCE” or “SENSITIVE”, should be applied to each. The only perk is being gatekeeper to all the old Cabinet papers and minutes, so that if anyone in the Ministry wants to know what the hell government policy actually is they can be made to jump through hoops, fill out a form that says leaking is bad, and, above all, wait. Nobody bothers: it’s easier to make up something plausible and say EGI decided it just before Christmas, and less likely to generate awful legislation.

Anyway, a Whole Of Government – we’re not allowed to say WOG – Business Continuity Plan is what the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet wanted, so dozens and scores of departmental business continuity plans is what the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet got, including our BCPs Alpha, Gamma, and Delta.

After Patient Zero bit a john’s dick and all hell broke loose in Hamilton on Saturday night, I knew that most of my working week would be meetings and briefings on Gamma.

It is, after all, the only BCP in all of Wellington that contemplates a zombie outbreak.

And it sucks.

To be continued…


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