Gaffney's experience of bureaucracy at ONGC

Vol 4, PW 26 (14 Feb 01) Exploration & Production

After two years working with ONGC, Gaffney Cline & Associates has a better idea than most of its problems.

Internal bureaucracy, according to a Gaffney report, is rife. "Board decisions appear not to be a problem - the difficulty in the approval process appears to be that too much review and approval is required by multiple layers of management.

Procedures and delays for getting projects up to the board for consideration are far beyond what should be acceptable." It adds: "The company's business culture is not an effective agent of change, often appearing more comfortable with a familiar problem than with the prospect of an unfamiliar solution." Gaffney said introduction of Multi Disciplinary Teams at ONGC has been the main successes of it consultancy. "MDT recorded a major success in December 1999 when ONGC's board approved the West Flank Development Project," adds Gaffney, "To date this project has reduced the estimated development cost from $110m to $70m - a 36% reduction." Getting approval was not easy.

"An inefficient internal approval process delayed board approval (for the MDT) for 8 months. This is unacceptable in an organisation that aspires to the efficiencies routinely attained within private oil companies." What has ONGC done to reduce bureaucracy since May last year