JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for HERFORUM Archives


HERFORUM Archives

HERFORUM Archives


HERFORUM@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

HERFORUM Home

HERFORUM Home

HERFORUM  November 1999

HERFORUM November 1999

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Re: How much does an SMR cost?

From:

"Mary Macleod" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 24 Nov 1999 13:31:48 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (246 lines)

Crispin, Rob et al.

In re. the problematic issue of SMR cost, I wonder whether you would be
interested to know the capital resources (not the pounds and pence) that
have gone into the Western Isles SMR over the past 12 months?  As you know,
there was nothing here at this time two years ago.

One PC with maximum affordable spec. and printer.
SMR software
email/internet/office software
One full time officer
One half time volunteer for six months
Two ad hoc volunteers
software training
Data capture from NMRS
Data capture from one of two coastal erosion surveys.
One large office
One small office/store
Three desks/tables
Two plan chests
Four filing cabinets
Shelving
Survey equipment
Stationary, film & photocopying

Remaining to be purchased:
Photographic equipment (I'm using my own)
Scanner
GPS
more software training
Reference books &c.

We are still really in the setting up stage, so I can't quantify ongoing
maintenance resources.  However, in response to some of Crispin's
responses...

1. Consultations - I think that ideally, I would like to have a seperate
computer for dealing with consultations.  The volume of these is growing
very rapidly as more people become aware of the service, and I expect that
eventually demand will be too high for one person, and one computer, if the
SMR is to be maintained properly.

2. Development/land management pressure - while I appreciate your points
about development led demand and information provision, one should perhaps
also consider that many areas, like ours, with low development threat, have
extremely high threats and information feedback from other processes.
Amongst these are forestry, farming (ploughing) and erosion, both coastal
and inland.  These are hugely demanding of SMR time, both on a consultation
basis, and in relation to incoming information.  Unfortunately, they are
also extremely unproductive of income, unlike development.

3. SMR officers - I realise that English SMRs have increasingly moved
towards greater specialisation of roles, and understand the pressures behind
this.  However, being multi-functional is a great advantage, particularly in
a small region.  Apart from making the SMR vulnerable to dangerous C5
drivers, alien abduction, holidays, and other acts of god, I am concerned
that the single function SMR officer would perhaps be less aware of the
broader picture of her/his area.  And might get bored (never a good idea).

Ideally, I would like at least one other member of staff full-time, with
additional professional help as required (these are pipe dreams, you
understand...).  No one person should maintain an SMR, particularly with all
the add-ons, education, public lectures &c, and CPD.  Even in a small area,
it's too demanding a job.

Mary

-----Original Message-----
From: Crispin Flower <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: 24 November 1999 10:20
Subject: Re: How much does an SMR cost?


>Rob (and all SMRs) -
>I agree entirely that it is a sticky issue, but...
>Your main point, that it is essentially not possible to generalise costs
for
>the maintenance of an SMR, is one I used to make regularly, the reasoning
>being that it was all highly complicated and that the ideal was so far
above
>the achievable that we might as well carry on doing
>the best we could with what we had (while always asking for more). BUT it
>was put to me very persuasively that this is simply not an acceptable
>stance, indeed that it was a typical manifestation of the immaturity of
>archaeology as a profession
>and public service!!
>We are now seriously campaigning for proper SMR provision to at least a
>common acceptable standard, and the 'piece of string' argument does not win
>friends and influence people! NB there are still archaeologically rich
areas
>of Scotland that have no SMR.
>Regarding your specific points:
>- Consultations (planning apps, WGS, enquiries etc) - referring back to my
>first message, I was really hoping to see these as separate from the SMR
>maintenance, since, if we accept David Baker's advice, these functions
>should be carried out by different staff. The line I am attempting to
follow
>(rightly or wrongly) is that the curatorial functions (like educational or
>tourism etc functions) only have relevance to the SMR resource question in
>the sense that they require access to the information systems, and that in
>itself imposes some sort of multiplier cost. (NB - I would not attempt to
>separate these in practical or functional terms - in my view the curatorial
>process and the information systems which underpin it must be inextricably
>linked, but I am still trying to assess the SMR resource requirements)
>- In any case the issue of what should and should not be charged to
clients,
>and
>how this should be calculated, is one of cost recovery and marketability,
>and is not central to quantifying the resources required to maintain the
SMR
>itself.
>- Your point that we cannot standardise pay rates, overheads etc is fair
>enough - I'm looking to identify required staff and resources rather than
>pounds and pence as such. Guidance rather than prescription.
>- You advise to consider the development/land management pressure. I accept
>that this is relevant to the resources required to run the SMR, because
more
>development/archaeology means more info to recycle into the SMR, but how do
>we do this at a national level? WoSAS already does this in great detail for
>our eleven Councils based on consultations etc, but is it possible across
>Britain? Where can we get statistics about numbers/types of planning apps
>submitted, numbers of archaeological interventions etc?
>- The point that software and hardware costs may be covered by the hosting
>body may be true for some, but they are still real quantifiable costs which
>have to be borne by LAs in order to provide this public function. I am
>trying to identify total
>resource requirements.
>- overall you suggest that one full time SMR officer is what's required,
and
>the definition of critical mass in area which can keep that person busy.
>This is broadly in line with DB's advice. But this makes me very uneasy for
>a number of reasons.
>1 - I certainly can't cope on my own (but then we do cover an extremely
>large area with high development pressure)
>2- what about career development? If each archaeology service has one and
>only one SMR
>officer, how does anyone learn/develop? Career structure - where does this
>specialised SMR officer come from/go next?
>3 - this places great reliance on an individual within each service, with
no
>fallback if they are run over by
>a Sinclair C5.
>4 - is one person really enough for any decent-sized area - to do all
>accessions, outreach, linkages, projects etc? Are there any SMRs out there
>where one person maintains a perfect SMR?
>Any ideas anyone...?
>Crispin
>
>West of Scotland Archaeology Service
>Charing Cross Complex
>20 India Street
>Glasgow G2 4PF
>Tel: 0141 287 8332-5
>Fax: 0141 287 9529
>email: [log in to unmask]
>The Archaeology Service of the Councils of Argyll & Bute, East Ayrshire,
>East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde,
>North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South
>Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Babtie Reading Archaeology <[log in to unmask]>
>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Monday, November 22, 1999 11:39 AM
>Subject: Re: How much does an SMR cost?
>
>
>> Dear Crispin,
>>
>> This is a very sticky issue.  The main issues that we have had to face in
>Berkshire where the six local authorities directly pay for the archaeology
>service is how much does a consultation cost (i.e. per planning
application,
>SMR enquiry, etc.,) and how much does SMR maintenanace cost.  The actual
>answer is 'how long is a piece of string?'
>>
>> The issues with consultations are:
>>
>> 1  What do you define as a consultation?  Is it dealing with 1 planning
>application from start to finish, no matter how complicated it is.  If you
>do this, a simple consultation taking half an hour would cost the same as
>one that involves writing briefs for evaluation & excavation, monitoring
the
>fieldwork & post-ex process, writing committee papers if required, etc.  It
>has to be remembered that some consultations could take place over a number
>of years and so therefore a consultation needs to be fairly tightly
defined,
>if it is not, a local authority would have very little idea what they are
>being charged for and therefore the possibilty of unnecessary disputes
>arises.
>>
>> 2  SMR enquiries would also have to be carefully defined especially if
you
>already have a charging policy.  If you are charging external bodies for
>consulting the SMR how can you also charge the hosting authority for that
>too?  If you do charge, you have to be very clear what you are charging for
>and also wether it actually covers your costs or wether it is a nominal
>figure.
>>
>> 3  Once consultations have been defined, the next problem is how much
does
>each one cost.  This is obviously dependent on charge out rates,
>multipliers, overheads, etc.  This can only be sorted out by the
>organisation running the archaeological service.  I do not think that
>setting a standard for this is either feasible or advisable - each
>organisation has to cover different costs, has different rates of pay &
mult
>ipliers, and in any case, it would run the risk of looking like a closed
>shop or even worse a cartel.
>>
>> The best advice I can give you is to consider the development/land
>management pressure, numbers of consultations received, average length of
>time spent on a consultation, etc.  We have priced our work in Berkshire
>using various formulas that take into account such things, however, these
>are obviously commercially sensitive and therefore I cannot divulge them.
>If you want to discuss such things though please give me a ring (0118
>9881611).
>>
>> As to the maintenance of the SMR, you have already covered some of the
>issues i.e. software and hardware costs.  However, surely most of these
>costs are covered by the hosting body anyway?  As to the cost of
>maintenance, this really is 'how long is a piece of string.'  It is surely
>dependant on how well developed the database is already, gaps in the data,
>etc., as you have already pointed out.  The main issue is really that the
>SMR should cover an area large enough or one that generates a lot of data
>(i.e. high development pressure) to support an SMR post.  If that is the
>case, the cost of maintenance is the salary of 1 dedicated SMR officer +
>overheads/multiplier.  Again this will vary depending on the organisation
as
>salaries & grades vary.
>>
>> I hope that this is of some help.  As I have said, please feel free to
>ring me if you want to discuss this issue further - believe me, from
>personla on-going experience this issue is a total minefield - tread with
>extreme care!.
>>
>> Rob Bourn
>>
>
>
>
>



%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JISCMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999


WWW.JISCMAIL.AC.UK

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager