To get inducted into Gardner & Associates Consulting’s Business Execution Hall of Shame takes extraordinary effort. The Minerals Management Service (MMS), a department within the U.S. Department of the Interior, has done everything needed to make this induction a virtual “no-brainer.”
The current Gulf of Mexico/BP oil crisis and coal mining oversight issues cinched this award.
The essential mission of this group has been poorly executed by those within the organization. Here’s the mission statement as defined on the MMS website:
The MMS’s mission is to manage the ocean energy and mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf and Federal and American Indian mineral revenues to enhance public and trust benefits, promote responsible use, and realize fair value.
This organization has failed us badly. This failure is going to have negative implications for years and possibly decades to follow for the Gulf of Mexico and its entire ecosystem. There are also severe economic impacts for those who make a living within the ecosystem.
If I were running MMS, I would see my job as ensuring that whatever work that is being done protects the environment first and foremost, not protect and promote the interests and activities of the corporations over which MMS has oversight to the exclusion of other vital interests.
And, while an Obama political appointee left the role of heading MMS in recent weeks, the cancer inside this organization has been growing for years and years. That does not excuse this organization’s gross negligence.
MMS has a fiduciary responsibility to the American people to provide oversight and develop process improvements and protocols that result in the safe extraction of crude and minerals from within the earth.
MMS is doing a horrible job, due in part to cozy relationships with the companies over which it has oversight and a desire to look the other way so as to not impede business.
I hope the Department of Justice is looking not only at firms like Massey Energy and BP to determine if criminal negligence has taken place but also to MMS. MMS staff should not be exempt from charges of criminal negligence merely because they are U.S. government employees.
For the total lack of disregard for the essential function MMS is to provide, I hereby induct MMS into the Business Execution Hall of Shame.
Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting