Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has questioned the practicality of plans by the Public Service Commission to drastically reduce the size of the civil service.
Mr. Chaudhry said no amount of reforms will improve the productivity, competence and efficiency of the civil service unless there was an overhaul at the leadership level with jobs given out on merit.
“It is well known that the current top echelons of the service owe their appointments to political patronage rather than merit. The same people most of whom were proven failures, were re-appointed as chief executive officers with huge salary increases and perks, ” he said.
Mr Chaudhry said highly paid overseas consultants were being used to compile reform packages that were not realistic and, in fact, failed to grasp the fundamental problems.
As an example, he referred to the millions of dollars paid to Australian consultants under AUSAid for the past 15 years to initiate reforms in the Health sector. They had left the Health service in a terrible mess.
“The root of the problem lies in bad political leadership and management. The current set of Ministers lack the capability to provide the direction and leadership that is required for a competent and efficient public service.
Unless, and until, these fundamental problems are addressed and appointments are made on merit, no amount of reforms will save the civil service,” Mr. Chaudhry warned.