freeThe annual staff reports exercise is slowly but surely coming to an end and shortly the subsequent promotions exercise will start.┬áThe staff reports exercise has been particularly heavy for me this year. In addition to my direct reports, I have had to act as assessor for colleagues in the two directorates for which I am currently acting director and for some colleagues in our ‘joint services’ (so called because they are shared and pooled with our sister institution, the Committee of the Regions). In short, I had forty-five staff reports to draft. That meant roughly forty-five interviews, followed by forty-five drafting exercises. But my role was not yet over. I am also the appeal assessor and I therefore have spent quite a bit of time this week in hearings with nine assessors and nine appellants. And now, today, the procedure is at last over and I am free! But don’t misunderstand me. In the good old bad old days there was no obligation on assessors to hold interviews with their staff and there was no real obligation on staff to sit down and talk through their performance, their objectives and their future. The new procedure therefore represents considerable progress and I welcome it. It was just a little bit heavy for me this year…