Tuesday, September 13, 2016

It is time all Public Servants know what their job is! - Budget 2017

There is no point trying to pass a budget through Parliament when the Servants of the people think they are the Masters.

Masters or Servants, few know what it is they are being paid for. It is time then that they undergo a period of training to remind them of their duties to the people.

Sri Lanka has 1.5M public servants, paid for by the State out of people’s various taxes, and when that is NOT sufficient we have had to resort to borrowing from Foreign lands to pay their wages. How crazy is that? The son of the public servant will in the end have to pay his father’s salary when he gets older, and with interest.

Just to remind the readers, it is time the son tells the father. Father, do you know that I will have to pay your salary, with interest when I grow up, because the Govt. has had to borrow money from the Chinese at high rates of interest to pay your salary. So whatever you are doing at office better be worth it, in developing this Country, so I can reach a stage where I can earn enough to maintain my family and repay the loan from which your salary was paid.

When 15% of those who receive a paycheck weekly or monthly in Sri Lanka receive it from the State coffers, also known as the Treasury, it is time these servants of the people realize if they are earning their keep. Few do!

We should therefore remind them all of their rights and responsibilities and the importance of what they have been hired to do, no matter if they got the job from political connections or on merit. It is their collective effort that will either ensure if this country succeeds or fails, as their cost is overbearing, and unless there is a return, it is like all other “WHITE ELEPHANTS” a waste of the people’s money.

Another huge problem is their ability to measure their productivity in their jobs, as two people doing the same job can be poles apart in their ability to perform their tasks, with one doing 10X the work of the other for the same pay. This is a huge disincentive for the conscientious and focused people who are dedicated to their work. In the private sector it is easily recognized, or corrected, In the public sector, there is NO such mechanism, as the supervisors, and those responsible for assessing your ability are themselves not up to their tasks, and DO NOT discipline their charges, in tardiness, productivity, or timely completion of tasks, for a myriad of reasons.

We must send them to be retrained, restating their job specs, using professional training programs aimed at maximizing their productivity. There is no other way.

Here below are some of the sectors, (not comprehensive) that must be included:

1                   All those under the ambit of the MOD, including those in the tri-forces and civil defence and related establishments, as there is massive waste.

2                   The Police Force, STF and other security services, including the Prisons Department that require a major clean up to stop rampant drug use.

3                   All who work under the Ministry of Education, and under the Provincial Councils, like the massive carder of Teachers, few of whom actually know how to teach, as well as ancillary staff and administrators.

4                   All who work in the Health Services, including Doctors, who simply don’t perform to expectations, Nurses and Healthcare workers of all grades, as well as ayurvedic services.

5                   All those who work in Local Government, including Grama Niladaris, and staff in the Divisional and District Secretariats. The senior staff whose quality varies from zero to heroes.(ie. Divisional Secretary)

6                   All others in the 99 ministries and Govt. departments including Agriculture, Irrigations, Lands. The need for productivity evaluation.

7                   Those in the foreign service including missions and their allied staff.

8                   All others paid by the Pradeshiya Sabhas and Municipal Councils including those who just turn up to sign their names to receive pay!

9                   The whole administration of the Social Services and Social Welfare system, where the primary responsibility of assisting only those in need has been outweighed to help political patronage. We need 100,000 mental health counselors to serve the needs of the people who are leading very stressful lives, not being able to cope with their daily existence.

10              The whole of the Justice system, including judges, lawyers and staff in the AGs department, who are responsible for speedy justice.

11              This list is endless, but a reminder to readers of how important all these tasks are for the smooth functioning of Government in a civilized society. Upon a first read through, it is apparent that there are huge flaws in each, some of which are obvious, and can be tackled in the first lesson!

We should then ensure that within the next 4 years all 1.5M receive a month’s training in a host of fields, and at the end of it know what their job functions are. 

Many of the above, don’t even know how to write their names and addresses on a form, and we must first begin with by creating a database of who these people are, what their rank, service period, current grade, and salary, addresses, phone numbers, and dependents, before we are able to tackle this massive task. 

With few Govt. departments having adequate computer facilities to perform basic tasks, it is no wonder that efficiencies are zero in most of the jobs. We cannot continue to carry these workers unless they are retrained, and contribute positively to the service of the Public who pay their wages.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is time the Public realized that it is because of lethargy/laziness/bloody minded actions/incompetence that the Country is at a standstill. The elected officials have not been able to discipline the public servants sufficiently so that they do what we the public pay them for.

Lets get the press to attack them mercilessly! Then again the Press is also incompetent. Where do you start?