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Amanda - working in the public sector
Name: Amanda
PhD discipline: German Literature
Area(s) of work: Diplomacy (foreign and commonwealth office)
Year of graduation: 2001
Date of Interview: 03/06/2008

Now Playing: Amanda - working in the public sector
Amanda gives a flavour of what it is like to work in the public sector.

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What are the frustrations of working in the public sector?

I think there are broad general level frustrations that would count across all the government departments. You're not dealing with a profit driven organisation although we are increasingly being, sort of having to apply business structures to the work we do. These are old organisations with traditions. They change when governments change. There are pockets across government that are more effective and less effective than others. I mean this is stuff you read about in the newspapers. You know some departments have had ministers change every few months in some periods of their history and that means a changed agenda and changed priorities and of course it's very difficult for an organisation to respond to that. So I think the very fact of how they're set up, their history, their traditions and the financial environment in which they operate and the political environment at the top i.e. the ministers that are driving it mean that there's a sort of, yeah some departments are more effective than others. Some have better ministers than others which means they're better driven; they're better led at the top. Some departments have more money when they're in favour with the Treasury and some governments prefer certain areas of work and give more funds to them and then will starve another area and vice versa, and that's the natural ebb and flow of politics. But that obviously has an impact on all of those organisations.
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