July 30, 2011

Why didn't Walker just ask Gableman what to do?

He could have saved $500K:
Scott Walker signed a contract with Michael Best & Friedrich on Feb. 7 authorizing payment to a total of $100,000. The contract was amended a few days ago to a maximum of $500,000.
Scott Walker has said he runs Wisconsin like a small business.* Using his analogy, Walker's legal services contract is like a blanket purchase order.

On a construction project, for example, blanket purchase orders are often issued to suppliers where the value of the goods or services aren't precisely known from the outset, like the cost of trucking, or consumable equipment and tools like grinding discs or welding gases. Knowledgeable buyers will overestimate the value of those blanket purchase orders, because the totals go into the project manager's status report under committed costs and then the project manager keeps track of the suppliers' invoices as compared to his committed costs.

The idea is to keep your committed costs higher than the actual costs. Where the value of blanket purchase orders is increased during a project, it should be because the scope of work has increased; that is, the size of the project has grown and additions to the construction contract cover the increases to the value of the blanket purchase orders.

That's how competent managers run a business.

If a purchasing agent walked into a project manager's office and told him, 'Oh by the way, I spent $500K against a $100K blanket purchase order,' that purchasing agent would most likely be fired on the spot.

Except Wisconsin can't fire Scott Walker. Yet.

* Walker has never run any business. He's a career Republican.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a state and a nation it is time to stop making a fetish of business experience or lamenting lack thereof in our elected officials. What has valuing this experience gained? It has given us a governor who is incapable of managing a government unit larger than a small rural township.It has given us Randy Hopper a business man who got his girlfriend a state job without competition. County and local candidates tout how they will run their offices like a business. Never thinking that government and business are two very different operations with very different goals. We need competent people running our governments not business fetishists.

gnarlytrombone said...

stop making a fetish of business experience

Oh, come on. CEOs have a very nuanced understanding of macroeconomics and fiscal policy: "More saving. More doing."

Anonymous said...

if you saw the recent episode of "law and order:svu" about the owner of a wine business, you saw walker's business model.

John Foust said...

So, in essence, a mid-term recall is kind of like having a boss who could fire you not in a clean-out-your-desk-now sort of way, but in slow-motion?