Monday, October 20, 2008

lets face it we have a problem with the assumptions

Just think, and look around you in Sri Lanka. We have the highest concentration of foundation stones being laid for projects, highest concentration of partially built and abandoned projects, highest concentration of government buildings, and largest number of government departments all as per capita in the world. This is a fact.

How can we be a poor country with these, institutions? It is because it is bureaucratic and not efficient. No one is performing to expectation and the importance of maintenance is set aside out of egos too inflated to need their names on foundation stones, over well maintained structures.

Until we realize we should not waste anymore money in construction of new projects; make more efficient the existing arms of the government by making them accountable for their performance; to be judged on how well their budget allocations are spent and evaluated; and energize public servants with performance incentives and drop age based seniority and age based promotions; we cannot proceed effectively.

All this comes down to good management from above where objectives and goals are laid down and everyone works on the same page. Then progress can be made. Our bureaucracy at some levels are made up of zombies, this frustrates the energetic dynamic individuals, as they are not allowed to shine and are constantly put down by their lazy and cushioned elders.

There is political interference when it comes to transfers of government servants, as well as promotions, which demotivate good staff. Each one of the 400+ government departments must have a set of objectives and criteria for performance measurement, so that they are working after their lunch break and not literally sleeping on the job as is commonly encountered. Thanks to President Premadasa, we have Wednesdays as public days where the officials are obliged to be at their seats. The instances, when, even this rule has been violated by government servants, are too numerous to mention.

Lets bring a sense of discipline into the public sector, and make them accountable and efficient, only then will the private sector be able to take up the mantle of performing without hindrance and corruption. They are up to the task if only the government sector is doing their bit. So please re-evaluate the assumptions and energize the personnel to perform.

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