Whirlwind of the Politicisation of the Public Service

By Stephen Kangal
March 31, 2010

PNMIs it not a contradiction that while establishing the rule-unto-themselves private state companies with precious little accountability and transparency in their operating culture to take over the delivery of services from public service entities, we the taxpayers are today inundated with all the sordid details of nepotism, corruption and exorbitant billion dollar and non-accountable disbursement of the public purse by UDECOTT?

The current politicization/privatization fixation is driven by a hidden ethnic, political patronage and electoral security PNM agenda geared to deepen and widen the client-of-the-state base and state dependence model of governance. The requisite checks and balances and supervision of the public purse/recruitment and promotion of personnel hitherto performed by the independent Service Commissions have been discarded. The costs of this indiscretion are mind-boggling.

The T&T RA is being pushed through Parliament to replace the Customs and BIR. It will be a politically managed and appointed entity collecting and controlling over 95% of our revenues. It will be the private chattel of the PNM Minister of Finance. Simultaneous to the T&TRA we are today assailed with the still-born disaster of the HDC that is proving to be an onerous burden on the Exchequer after replacing the NHA.

The same template of transparency, accountability and efficient delivery of services claims being made of the T&TRA were made in Parliament and paid ads in connection with the HDC. Today the HDC delivers sewerage through the floors and collapsing houses. Supporters of the PNM get 90% of the houses through a secret and skewed lottery designed to achieve voter-padding.

The Sports Company is notable for its $2M flag and its unlimited service to PNM -held constituencies.

Institutional change does not change the operating culture and work ethic of the replaced entity over-night. We are today paying a huge price through privatization of state funds being used to replace an under-paid and mal-equipped public service. Inflated salaries/budgets in these privatized entities are no comparison to that of public servants.

When a government is replaced there will be little or no public service continuity. Widespread personnel changes will take place leading to charges of ethnic cleansing, Africanisation and Indianisation in the administration of these privatized state companies.

In a multicultural society such as T&T transparency, accountability, equal opportunity employment practices and ethnic balance must be the cardinal principles underpinning governance structures.

This is not PNM country!

2 thoughts on “Whirlwind of the Politicisation of the Public Service”

  1. One of the things I’ve come to learned about lawyers is that they are trained to be precise with words , or put another way ‘say exactly what they mean,’ ‘without beating around the bushes,’as we like to put it in Sweet T&T aka Rainbow country.
    Diplomats in contrast, I am well aware after hanging around thousands in the past 15 or more years, are trained to do the complete opposite and often speak with forked tongues, hence the reasons why most secret trade deals, oil/ gas border agreements , and even matters of international laws such as those relating to pressing Human rights concerns, genocide , terrorism , and peace ,are weak ,or most time useless and ineffective paper documents , since often the negotiation exercises were not made in good faith , as parties involved have little interest in carrying them out.
    Mr K claimed to be a bit skeptical about the PNM government’s proposal to revamp the Customs and BIR department , with a new body called the T&T RA , as he feared that”it will be the private chattel of the PNM Minister of Finance.”This is where I am lost, is Mr. K stating for the record that democracy is dead in our country and the PNM cannot be replaced , or if replaced by a new government , the new regime would lack the ability to obtain fair, professional , and diligent performance -in keeping with Westminster traditions, ad our Constitution- by previous state employees,because they hold some tenuous allegiance for the previous administrations ? It is the same physiologically traumatic fear by some about the proposed PM’s Jet acquisition, and his desire to refurbish and or expand the official residence , that I found most perplexing.
    If at the end of the day Patrick Manning ,like Panday is hopefully doing now, is expected to revert to his simple civilian life of cutting his own lawns at 9am, driving his own vehicle without some crazy police in charge and lining up at Piarco like the rest of us to go to JFK ,Miami , Toronto, Boston, and Nottinghill to jump up, what is the big deal when the possibility exist that one of our front running political heads Kamela , Makandal Daaga , or Mr Dookeran, would be in charge, enjoying the fruits of the PNM previous government’s labors?
    And now folks you see why I never aspired to be part of either professions like our dear friend Uncle K. I lack the ability to be concise with words like most of today’s lawyers , but instead fervently adhere to one of my favorite Granny’s principle of ” plain talk , bad manners.”


    Love country.

Comments are closed.