Government productivity consultant Parry Bellot has confirmed that he wrote to the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) formally apologizing for his earlier comment that some 80 per cent of public servants were “not pulling their weight”.
Bellot made the recent claim at a news conference he held to announce that he had presented a report to government on his efforts to boost productivity in the public service.
He said while the figure he advanced was not included in the report, his own unscientific assessment was that the majority of the country’s civil servants were unproductive.
The DPSU had threatened protest action if the productivity consultant did not retract the statement or apologise.
Bellot said at the time that he would do so if his bosses (the government) told him to.
He maintains his position that there needs to be much greater productivity both in the public and private sectors, but told DNO that if his statement hurt the feelings of public workers he was sorry and offered the appropriate apology.
On Wednesday Bellot told DNO that he had not been ordered to apologise by his bosses, but had done it of his own free will.
“After much thought and in the interest of moving forward, I am prepared to formally retract my statement expressed as a personal opinion in reply to a question at my press conference that in my rough estimation the public service works at about 20 per cent efficiency. I understand that this caused some hurt among your membership, especially as it was not based on any scientific analysis, merely my own opinion based on several years personal assessment,” Bellot wrote in his letter to the DPSU.
He said in retrospect it may not have been the best idea to make the statement that he did, because “it impacted so many persons”.
“So for that I apologise,” the productivity consultant told the DPSU.
He has since described it as a full, unconditional “genuine” apology.
Bellot says however that he is happy that the matter led to serious debate on the question of productivity.
He says he is optimistic that public servants, their union and government will give some attention to the business of working together to enhance productivity.
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