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constitute an archaeological police force
#11
P Prentice Wrote:i think the police force would take the pressure of the curatorial services who would still be issuing briefs and ensuring policy. it would complement not endanger you.
when everybody is ro and everybody contributes to the cost, everybody will be monitored and everybody will be on a level playing field.
whats the problem?


Hi
You’re saying self regulation (by the IfA) will work better than regulation by local government. Your idea is not enhancing regulation of standards it's simply replacing one accountable body with an unaccountable body in which the more powerful units will dominate. It's simply an archaeological version of the Press Complaints Comission, a model proven to fail.

Curators jobs are mainly about monitoring and ensuring sufficient information is given in applications (level/type of evaluation) at pre-determination, and monitoring to ensure the mitigation is carried out properly, anaylsis completed and that publication takes place. Simply replacing them with self-regulators will not deal with any issues.

It will threaten local services, at the moment any excuse is good enough for some councils to cut services. Offering them an opportunity to have someone else fund part of that service would be seen as an opportunity to cut. If you think otherwise you’re simply naive. I really don't think you understand the real threat curatorial services are under. We are a nails breadth from being cut completely from local government, which would be the end of commercial archaeology because there would be no-one requiring any work to be carried out as there would be no-one advising planning authorities. Hair brained schemes of PCC style self-regulation would be detrimental to smaller units with fewer members within the IfA and could lead to monopolistic practices.

How about a really simple solution that when archaeologist sees standards being flaunted they whistleblow to the curator! If archaeologists see rival/other units lowering standards they inform the curator so they can investigate. After all that’s what professional should do!
Steven
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#12
Agee with the general consensus. If you're going to have a heritage police, it should be part of the curatorial/local government services. Getting a contribution to it from all those planning applications fees might be a way to start.

If we can beef up the curators to a point where they could properly monitor/enforce all works and stipulate their own set of national standards we could scrap the IFA.....

and I like Redearths peer review idea - can I extend it to WSI's? that way i can see in advance which buggers are undercutting by leaving out stuff or being deleiberately vague, and hoping the hardpressed curator with 4 to read before lunch won't notice.
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#13
Good post, Steven, completely agree!
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#14
The IfA couldn't do it. Firstly because they have no contractual or legislative (is that the word?) connection to the archaeological contract in question. Secondly where would they get the resources, all the people, to do it?
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#15
so are we talking about an offsted kind of organisation. we could call it offwaff as we all like a good waffle don't we. tsk tsk. no seriously it would probably be a good idea to have an independent body to regulate and standardize and cut the reinvention of so many wheels. maybe we could have a body of old lags, managers and young blood to sort things rather than county mounties and those with enough dosh to be a member of a club. just a thought!!!
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#16
Society of Antiquaries? }Smile
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#17
Steven Wrote:Hi
You’re saying self regulation (by the IfA) will work better than regulation by local government. Your idea is not enhancing regulation of standards it's simply replacing one accountable body with an unaccountable body in which the more powerful units will dominate. It's simply an archaeological version of the Press Complaints Comission, a model proven to fail.

Curators jobs are mainly about monitoring and ensuring sufficient information is given in applications (level/type of evaluation) at pre-determination, and monitoring to ensure the mitigation is carried out properly, anaylsis completed and that publication takes place. Simply replacing them with self-regulators will not deal with any issues.

It will threaten local services, at the moment any excuse is good enough for some councils to cut services. Offering them an opportunity to have someone else fund part of that service would be seen as an opportunity to cut. If you think otherwise you’re simply naive. I really don't think you understand the real threat curatorial services are under. We are a nails breadth from being cut completely from local government, which would be the end of commercial archaeology because there would be no-one requiring any work to be carried out as there would be no-one advising planning authorities. Hair brained schemes of PCC style self-regulation would be detrimental to smaller units with fewer members within the IfA and could lead to monopolistic practices.

How about a really simple solution that when archaeologist sees standards being flaunted they whistleblow to the curator! If archaeologists see rival/other units lowering standards they inform the curator so they can investigate. After all that’s what professional should do!

nope - i'm saying regulation by a qualified, experienced, independent police force funded by licenced contracting organisations

i'm saying its no use expecting the curator to enforce standards when they are currently under resourced to maintain their own, when, as we both know, many are ill-equiped and without the requisite experience to know when a given site is being adequately excavated or reported or published.

the costs would be transferred to the developers and no single organisation would stand to loose if all were subject to the same rigour

and as for whistle-blowing -who do we report rogue curators to?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#18
P Prentice Wrote:and as for whistle-blowing -who do we report rogue curators to?

Their manager in the planning department. If all else fails, try the local councillor for the ward containing the site you think isn't being dealt with properly. Given that they almost all work for public bodies, and all of those public bodies will have complaints and disciplinary procedures, it doesn't seem an insurmountable problem. Surely one of the major advantages of having local authority curators is that they're publicly accountable!
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#19
P Prentice Wrote:nope - i'm saying regulation by a qualified, experienced, independent police force funded by licenced contracting organisations

i'm saying its no use expecting the curator to enforce standards when they are currently under resourced to maintain their own, when, as we both know, many are ill-equiped and without the requisite experience to know when a given site is being adequately excavated or reported or published.

the costs would be transferred to the developers and no single organisation would stand to loose if all were subject to the same rigour

and as for whistle-blowing -who do we report rogue curators to?


Hi
There are a number of faulty logic and factual errors in this post:

1. There are no "licensed contracting organisations" in archaeology.
2. They wouldn't be independent they would be paid by members of the organisations they are meant to be monitoring (like the PCC)
3. Many curators are highly experienced, well qualified , highly motivated professionals that run circles round dodgy practitioners and recognise bad strategies when they see them.
4. IfA police have no statuary or non-statuary powers and will only be able to sanction organisations that play ball. They will not have the statuary powers of a curator through the Town and Country Planning Act.
5. The rise in prices to developers required to fund the IfA police means that they are likely to simply ignore any comments from the "independent IfA police" and employ whichever unit they want, which is likely to be the slightly cheaper non-IfA Police affiliated ones.


Any curator can be reported to their line manager, or the elected member portfolio-holder. Or of course you could complain to the IfA as you seem to believe they are the answer to this type of issue.
Steven
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#20
Couldn't agree more with Stevens points - its like reading the rant in my head put in a more reasonable way!
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