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Produce the desired results or Ba bye
Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2005

By Michael De Gale

I am not an economist but at a glance, ah like de budget. It seems to have a little something for everybody. My only concern is the ability of those who are responsible for Government Departments to perform effectively in their capacities and produce verifiable results with the money that is allocated. Government Departments have been historically inefficient, cumbersome, painfully bureaucratic and wasteful. Opportunists in capitalist societies use these shortcomings to call for privatization of the public sector. They claim that privatization will reduce cost and improve efficiency. Even citizens appear to have lower expectations when dealing with Government Departments who have continuously failed to demonstrate that they are capable of delivering quality services.

For as long as I can remember, water shortages, pot holed roads, electrical blackouts, inadequate health care and escalating crime rates have plagued the country, severely testing the patience of citizens who have now embraced sub-standard service as the norm. The problem lies in incompetence, a lack of accountability at the upper levels and questionable work ethics. Trinis perform admirably in the local private sector and in Government offices throughout North America. Why is this not evident in Government Departments in T&T? I believe that job performance will improve drastically, if there is the political will to do so and clearly stated repercussions for those who fail to perform. People should not have to lower their expectations or accept sub-standard service from any organization whether public or otherwise. Demanding value for money is not too much to ask.

It always amazes me when heads of Government department are able to keep their job despite obvious gross incompetence. Consider the spiraling crime rate at all levels, health care delivery, public works projects and education to mention a few, all indicators show that they are failing miserably. Instead of producing results, the public is given lame excuses and bullshit reasons explaining why crime is spiraling out of control or why the roads are in a deplorable state of disrepair. Often, there is absolute silence at the top in spite of mounting criticism contempt if you will. With salaries exceeding $100,000 annually in addition to various benefits and expense accounts, how can one possibly justify his/her employment in the face of such chronic incompetence? Government ministers must lead their departments by example. If accountability and a strong work ethic emanates from the top, I am confident that this will have a trickle down effect and produce improvements in the performance of subordinates.

The people of Trinidad and Tobago deserve safer communities free from drugs and violence, a drastically improved infrastructure, quality health care, affordable housing etc. It is to this that we should aspire, if the spirit of Vision 20/20 is to be achieved. When people are paid handsomely and are given hefty budgets but are clearly incapable of delivering - fire them. Fire the whole bunch of incompetent bastards from captain to cook. They either shit or get off the pot. Taxpayers' dollars must not be squandered with impunity. There must be something to show for it. Enough is enough. If they cannot perform to expectation and produce the desired results is Ba bye. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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