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Decade To End ‘Social Welfare’ System In Govt

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Robert Myers

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

A governance reformer has predicted it will take between five to ten years to eliminate “the social welfare system” that much of the public sector has become.

Robert Myers, the Organisation for Responsible Governance’s (ORG) principal, told Tribune Business that multiple ministries, departments and agencies were bloated and over-staffed because previous administrations had used public sector hirings to solve both their employment and political issues.

He called for a “vision and plan” that would produce sufficient GDP growth to enable the Government to shift excess public workers to private sector employment, and warned: “We can’t turn around and fire 20 percent of the public service.”

Speaking after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week called for the Government to “further rein in recurrent spending”, Mr Myers said: “We’ve got to get some of the social welfare in the public sector out of the system.

“That over-employment is the Government’s social welfare because they’ve been unable to stimulate growth in the economy. We have many of these ministries and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that are over-staffed. It’s become a social welfare system and we’re not getting any more efficiency out of these SOEs, ministries and agencies. They’re still over-staffed and under-performing.”

Camille Johnson, the Cabinet Secretary and government’s top official, last year told an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report that the Bahamian civil service was “overstaffed by as much as 40 percent”.

However, Brensil Rolle, minister of the public service, recently confirmed that a large number of the 9,000 people that the Christie administration was criticised for hiring had been re-engaged by the public sector.

While arguing that the public sector was “still over-staffed and under-performing”, Mr Myers said the Government could not simply engage in mass lay-offs because of the hardship it would cause to individuals and their families, as well as the impact on the wider economy and Bahamian society.

“It’s not that we go and lay-off hundreds of people in government right now,” he explained. “We’ve got to have a vision and a plan to shift those people, the excess in the public sector, and shift them to the private sector as we stimulate growth there.

“We can’t turn around and fire 20 percent of the public sector. We have to grow the private sector, and start shifting those employees over to the private sector when we gain real GDP growth. A critical part of that, understanding and appreciating a major part of that shift, is it is not a short-term issue. It will take five to ten years if that’s when we focus on it.”

Comments

TalRussell 1 year, 6 months ago

Yes, yes it is evident ORG's principal comrade Robert's brain departments isn't efficient enough shift into solving matters mode because he ignores 'this' Imperial red shirts governing administration having in fact 'rehired thousands' back on PeoplesPublic payroll - the same 'temporary' workers they fired only be rehired into back into their government jobs and be upgraded into 'full-time' positions as way solve both PLP's over employment and bad political decisions, yes, no..... And, why fire thousands to only rehire them with 'full benefits' but weeks later, yes, no?

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bogart 1 year, 6 months ago

"We can't turn around an fire 20% of the public service." ...says Robert Myers. Oh YES..DEY CAN....OH YES DEY CAN.....OH YES DEY CAN !!!!!!!!! WORKERS FAILING GUILTY.....NONFESANCE.....MISFESANCE.....MALFESANCE....plain an strait....workers aint doing dere job ....causing.....UNTOLD MISERY TO PORE WEAK NOT CONNECTED ....FIRE DEM...Workers who dont answer fere phone......Fire dem.....Workers who gets family friends lovers jump da line.....Fire dem.....WORKERS who allows citizenship to persons who cant speak an understand Bahamas language broughtupsy....dont hand dere clothes wid underwear on front fence to dry......Fire dem... Workers who gives citizenship wid common Bahamian names but dont da new citizen wid common Bahamian where is family.where dey from....Fire dem.........Fire dem........Workers causing millions in errors aiding abeting in cohots suspected but definitely causing m wastages pore taxpayers money.....Fire dem......Workers who guilty of losing yer file.....fire dem.....Workers through slackness....causing hours of wasting man hours to be paid for....Fire dem.....Workers who part of processes wasting man hours championing white elephant projects sucking seniors shoes fully knowing it wrong......Fire dem.......IF MYERS DONT REALIZE...DAT INCOMPETANCE...IMEPT...CRONYING...SLACKNESS...CAUSES CONTINUOUS LOSSES OF MONEY.....why still have relatives...cronies...cohorts....retarding.. dont do jobs....casting hundreds of millions of taxpayers down da drain....causin more misery...retarding GDP...slackness breeding more slackness.........DA SYSTEM has to FIRE...guilty an not lessen company size by attrition.......years an years......

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 6 months ago

What Mr, Myers does not understand and appreciate is that the government of Haiti, and not the government of the Bahamas, is now responsible for our country's social welfare system. The government of Haiti and the Haitian people who are illegal aliens in our country will soon also be responsible, under a proposed new citizenship and immigration bill, for determining who has the right to acquire Bahamian citizenship and/or Belonger Status. We should all let these profound developments seep in for a moment, especially Mr. Myers who apparently still has his head stuck in the sand. Without enforced protection of our southern borders combined with sustained and systematic deportation back to Haiti of all Haitians illegally residing in our country, Mr. Myers' hope of a better Bahamas down the road will remain nothing but pie in the sky.

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