Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

paperwork and program work

Last week I read this in a CBC story about the listeriosis outbreak:

"Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors have since [March 31] had to deal with significantly more paperwork, which reduces their awareness of the everyday goings-on at meat-packing and processing facilities. ...The biggest concern from the inspection staff is simply the amount of time now they spend looking at reports and generating reports."

Sound familiar? (The less-than-highlights)

Reading further, opposition parties accused the government of cutting the food inspection budget. The government argued that the budget had actually been increased but that processes had been changed.

The federal Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz was quoted as saying:

"Those that might characterize paperwork in a derogatory sense, I would challenge, given that that scientific review demonstrates the safety and security of the entire process used to produce food."

Perhaps a scientific review does demonstrate the safety and security of the entire process but is it not a hands-on review by an inspector using professional knowledge, experience and judgment to assess and evaluate that ensures safety and security?

Is this another case of practitioner expertise being disregarded and devalued?

It is unlikely that anyone is going to die if literacy practitioners are restricted from using their professional knowledge, experience and judgment in their work, but what will be lost?

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