Study Tours or free junkets
It is said that age is no bar for learning something new.
In keeping with this adage, it is common practice for worthy elected representatives to travel and visit places on taxpayer’s expense, ostensibly to learn something useful to improve the lot of the common man.
Places beyond the boundaries of this vast country are the preferred locations.
It would be a very revealing to assess the number of recommendations put forth after such visits that have resulted in substantial improvement in administration or facilities back home.
The recent revelation of the juvenile report submitted by a group of elected representatives after a study trip to Australia / New Zealand is only one more such incident.
To be fair, it must also be said that even many reports / recommendations put forth with detail and very professional assessments are junked if it is politically uncomfortable to implement or accept.
Such paid holidays, couched in the garb of study trips or conferences is also the game played not only by elected representatives but also by other government departments and Public Sector units and even private enterprises. While private enterprises pay for it from their profits, others are spent from taxpayer’s money.
Giving such activities some fancy name in typical management jargon attempts to mask the fact that it is an infructuous exercise that yields no benefits.
There needs to be some yardsticks to audit if such expenditures have resulted in tangible positive outcomes – if not some action should mandatorily be taken against the defaulters.