Why you should always use percentages (and why people making a beat up never do)

I hope this is the best the Victorian Liberals can do:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/case-of-the-missing-laptops-hits-500000-20100914-15axj.html

There are quite a few pieces of stupidity involved here:

1) Counting the $130,000 from an organised theft of computer equipment. Unless the government is going to start locking up all facilities storing IT equipment like Fort Knox (at a cost of god knows how much) , this will happen occasionally.

2) 299 laptops is a tiny proportion of the laptops issued to Victorian public servants – they’d be 10s of thousands of them out there.

3) The time taken by the departments to answer this question wouldn’t have been cheap.

4) The fact they asked a “series” of questions? Was that the best they could come up with.

It really is a complete non-event – any large organisation will lose a few laptops, and holding ministers accountable for it is a complete waste of time – would you expect a shareholder in a large company asking how many laptops went missing?

Still, I guess beatups on government waste worked for the Federal libs – maybe the state ones are hoping the same strategy can work for them.

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