Public Sector Management Innovation

The BBC reports that a mayor in Russia has gotten tired of bureaucratic buck passing and to put a stop to it, has banned the use of certain phrases, like “Somebody else has the documents.”

While some of the now-verboten excuses are peculiar to civil service (“The working day is over”), others are popular in the private sector. Forbidding a different and somewhat expanded set would do wonders for private sector productivity and customer service.

From the BBC:

The mayor of a city in western Russia has issued a list of excuses that he will not tolerate from civil servants.
Alexander Kuzmin, mayor of Megion in western Siberia, said that officials must stop using phrases such as “I don’t know” and “it’s lunch time”.

Mr Kuzmin said city officials should help improve people’s lives and solve their problems, not make excuses.

The mayor’s press office said the list consists of 27 forbidden phrases, including “there’s no money”.

Mr Kuzmin warned in a statement that “the use of these expressions by city administration officials while speaking to the head of the city will speed their departure.”

He said he was taking action as he was tired of civil servants telling him that problems were impossible to solve, rather than offering practical solutions.

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