Politicians have to take their fair share of blame for low productivity in the public sector, says one University of the West Indies academic.
Senior Lecturer in Management at the Cave Hill Campus Dr Dion Greenidge said given the small size of Caribbean islands, “political influence” tended to impact one way or another on development.
“‘Man I got to get a vote, so I gine send somebody’. That is the culture in the Caribbean and far from that, this body knows this body . . . that is the way it works.
“I don’t know so much we are going to be able to get away from that . . . but we are going to have to recognize, and the politicians when they get in Parliament they want to talk about productivity, they have to recognize that they contribute at different levels too,” said Greenidge, who pointed out that some politicians were responsible for sending people they knew to different Government departments for work even though they knew “and the person is not competent”.
“All of that is going to impact on the moral and productivity of the entire department or organization as a whole. So when you talk about productivity then you must recognize that behaviour, if it is occurring . . . it is something that needs consideration not to occur,” he advised.
At the same time, Greenidge acknowledged that in the private sector managers and business owners who hire family and friends without ensuring they were suitably qualified.
“I am not saying you are not going to help out somebody . . . you will help out somebody, but in helping out somebody ensure that the person is the right person for that particular job,” advised Greenidge.
He was speaking during a recent seminar, which zeroed in on factors affecting productivity.
“This is where we have to look back at public sector reform. I don’t even know if they really started . . . I don’t really know if they started,” said Greenidge.
He said there was need to “decentralize” human resource management within the public sector.
“That is needed and they need to relook HR because it is very much personal management in the public sector and that is the problem that you have. And therefore when you talk about disciplinary procedures and when we talk about nepotism and so on that will occur until we can then have proper and effective HR practices participant procedures,” Greenidge told the room of public and private sector employees. (MM)