Ah, yes: Agency loss. It may sound like yet another boring public administration concept (for a definition, go to page four in this paper by Arthur Lupia), but real world cases are always a way of livening up a lecture on implementation.
One classic example of agency loss is from the introduction of the Frence police comedy “Les Ripoux” when the seasoned inspector releases a pick-pocket who is brought in to the police station with the argument:
If we charged him, it would look like there is a lot of crime in the precinct, and then the management would think that we are ineffective.
(The French title is a pun on the term for crooked or corrupt. You get the drift. And of cause the staff is ineffective as you have lots of pick-pockets running around in the streets)
Anyway: The bailiffs in Copenhagen have written a letter to the tax committee of the Danish Folketing, complaining that the head of the regional office of the Inland Revenue has ordered staff to shuffle cases so that all kinds of debt that could possibly be classified as potentially unrecoverable were discounted. In that way the success-rate of the regional office would increase, and – whaddayouknow! – the head of the office will get a wage bonus.
The other possible angle is of cause that there are substantial problems in the relationship between the management and the staff of the regional office.
Either way, I would look forward to further reports in the case.