Thursday, June 1, 2017

The 'Lessons Learned' Story

One of the things which I tended to notice during my military years was the 'lessons learned' phase that came after a big operation or an exercise.  'Lessons learned' was usually a tool that made you go back and ask a lot of stupid questions, draw upon the procedures, and fix what was broke.  Sometimes, in a few knew that the system was broke before you even went into the lessons learned phase.....and knew that it was practically impossible to fix the problem.

Today, via BR (regional public network to Bavaria) the journalists chatted about this new lessons learned moment.

BamF is the German agency which handles immigration and visa approval.  Whatever they the final word, unless the court wants to step in and be the final approval point.

Well....BamF decided to go back and pull out the applications to a large group and look over the results of their approval.

Roughly 45-percent of Afghanistan applications had insufficient documentation in the folder....yet were approved.

Roughly 20-percent of the Syrians....had insufficient documentation.

They went over 2,000 decisions and found various issues.

The system was never made to handle mass migration or immigration.  If you went back to anyone who worked with BamF over the past thirty years....I suspect they'd all grin and admit that they were built and designed to handle around 250,000 applications a year, and it was strongly dependent on the applicants to provide precise ID information and consulate staff in various countries would do the right homework to ensure paperwork met the requirements.

No one at any point from the Berlin leadership side ever sat there and could demonstrate some understanding of the process, the extended waiting period, the failure of bad approvals, the increase in crime, the cost of the process, or the end-result.  From an outsider's perceptive....this was a slow-motion train that was moving up a track, with potential for disaster...yet as much as the audience sat and surveyed this....the attitude was what I'd seen before in lessons learned stages....where things were just deemed unfixable....before and after the episode.  Even today, as much as you might seem to criticize or find fault....there are very few ways to fix or improve the situation.

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