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Suruj: Remove Public Service bureaucracy if recovery is to be quick

A Make it happen attitude is required of the Public Service if recovery is to be quick and less painful. AMCHAM’s observation that businesses are suffering must be taken seriously by the Government.

The new normal for TT must not only involve restructuring and bearing the burden by the private sector but must focus very strongly on the public service and in particular its level of unnecessary bureaucracy and lukewarm service culture.

At present the burden of economic recovery appears to be one that is being placed on the shoulders of the private sector. The efficiency of the private sector however is affected by the way the public service responds to their needs.

The public service and Public servants in my humble view have yet to appreciate that they survive because of the wealth created mainly by the private sector and more so now that oil and gas prices are at an abysmal low.

While private sector employed persons are beating the burden of loss in wages and salaries the public service continue to be paid.

It is imperative that if this country is to get back on its feet in the shortest possible time and if new investments are to be attracted that the ease of doing business must quadruple. This is mainly a public service issue.

The construction sector is going to face a terrible situation of forced delays following Covid 19 due to the closure of significant facilitating institutions and departments of government. For example in Town and Country Planning massive delays are expected due their closure. As well, the Electrical Inspectorate has also been closed at least in San Fernando. WASA will have to speed up Clearance certificates if mortgages are to be completed causing money to get into further projects and creating employment. At the Regional corporations monies are not now being accepted for completion certificates thus causing further delays in mortgage processing.

A tremendous shift in workplace attitudes will be required if the speed of recovery especially in construction is to be achieved.

At this time Senior Managers In the public service should have been called out and mandated to prepare plans to speed up approvals and cut the bureaucracy. The Covid 19 Committee must take cognizance of the above and recognize that writing policy prescriptions is not the only means to successful Recovery. An action oriented approach is very desirable. The recovery is not going to happen only by policies but more so by Interventions. We must do better!

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