Working in compliance I am sometimes required to make a judgement & run with it based on little or no information. Vexing. Particularly troublesome when I judge a 'clients' motivation.
Pig ignorance is (usually) met with a brochure and a smack on the wrist. I'll respond differently to knowledgable indifference and differently again to intentional villainy. So if the client is a dumbarse who hasn't endangered anyone they'll probably get a stern warning. If the client knows the rules but didn't care to check, I usualy issue a ticket. If the client has set out to break the rules, like build a poachers hold in a boat or bodge a logbook, I go in hard with court action.
Let me tell you about Tony.
Tony is not the sharpest tool on the rack, nor the brightest bulb on the tree, but he's a nice enough bloke. I don't know it for fact but I suspect there are some literacy issues going on. He's recently married and has two little girls. Tony has been a pretty unsucsessful deckhand in the district for years and finally got 'all his sh!t in one sock' and qualified as a master fisherman. He bought an old but sturdy boat, leased an authority to fish, bought some quota and took up fishing for spanner crab. Good luck to him, I hopes he makes a go of it. One of the good things about the fishing industry is that it provides opportuinties for blokes like Tony and pays in direct proportion to the effort he puts in.
Spanner Crab Fishermen have special and additional reporting obligations on top of the usual commercial fishing documentation which can be pretty over the top. For instance instead of telling us monthly how much of what was caught, they have to tell us every day where and when they will land & ballpark catch Kgs. This is so we can be there and inspect the catch as it comes off the boat. This Prior Notice starts a whole documentation train that traces product from fisherman to retail sale, significantly it also starts the process that deducts his days catch from his remaining quota balance. I am very confident Tony got this information.
One day I'm tootling down the river and I see Tony unloading crab. Hmm, I didn't get his prior notice via SMS like I do for all the other Spanner Crab Fishermen. So we pop over to talk to Tony to see wassup.
2 hours later I'm sitting in Tony's dining room with a drift of reciepts and paperwork spread across the table.
Tony hasn't reported once in the 8 months he's been fishing.
So we havn't been notified by SMS, so we haven't inspected any of his unloads.
No paper trail has been started.
So no trigger for investigation or audit can happen as there is no such catch according to the system.
Most importantly his catch is not deducted from his remaining quota.
So theoretically he could fish forever, never be checked and never run out of quota.
Tony is holding his head in his hand telling me "I've always tried to do the right thing you know? but I didn't know I had to do this Prior Notice stuff, noone told me."
Mrs Tony is circling waiting to unload a metric ton of toe in butt on Tony when I'm done.
I have to decide. Is Tony a dumbarse or an evil genius. Has he blundered into this very fortunate situation through ignorance, or has he studied the system, identified a weakness and set out to exploit it?
It matters because it dictates how I respond.
Evil genius or dumbarse? Sh!t. I hate making calls like this.
Then a fat & glossy large white hen, yes female chicken type hen, walks out of the living room, clucks at us and then pops out the back door. I guess it had been catching some TV or something,
If you are too dumb to keep poultry off carpet, you go in the dumbarse box.
Tony got a brochure and a slap on the wrist.
[minor edit & link17/3/10 08:40]