Computer Weekly Editor's Blog

Feb 13 2009   9:09AM GMT

IT companies treat civil servants… so what

ComputerWeeklyStaff Profile: ComputerWeeklyStaff

Tags:
hospitality
IT
journalists

There’s been a lot made of the amount of entertaining that senior civil servants have received during 2007 in today’s papers.

The Daily Mail: High for Sir Humphrey

FT.com: Civil Servants Publish hospitality treats

I don’t really know what all the fuss is about, particularly coming from journalists, who less face it receive their fair share of corporate jollies.

It’s a pretty staple part of business. If you want to strike up a personal relationship with a client, because you think that will help your business, then taking them out for a nice lunch, or to spend a day at a sporting event, or a night at the opera, may be the best way of breaking that ice.

For example, for a sales team giving the hospitality, this may mean that you keep a client, or that at least you stay in the mix when the deals are being pitched out.

For a journalist you accept the hospitality as chance to network. It may also mean that you have a better understanding of a company’s position, or its culture, by spending sometime with its senior execs. It should never cloud your editorial judgement, but it may help you write a more balanced piece on occasions. I freely admit I’ve had some lovely days watching Six Nations rugby courtesy of a French catering firm Elior (previous job) and been to some magnificent restaurants and hotels (same job, why did I move!?)

It seems the outrage is because its senior civil servants, who are public servants and they should not be indulged in such treats.

What a load of bunkum and double standards on the behalf of journalists, who readily accept corporate entertainment as a perk of the job.

If you want to see the full list its published on the Cabinet Office’s website…. there are a lot of IT companies that entertain senior civil servants, not least because of the massive IT projects that government runs…. there’s nothing to be cynical about that is there?  

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