Government Productivity Consultant Parry Bellot has suggested that the majority of the country’s public servants are not pulling their weight.
According to Bellot 80 per cent of public officers fall into that category – he had earlier suggested that productivity in government was at about 15 per cent, and that productivity in the private sector was down from the 20 percent he indicated that it had been in the 1980s and early 90s during the Eugenia Charles administration.
Consultant Bellot spoke at a news conference on Wednesday where he disclosed that he had presented a report to government on the status of productivity in Dominica’s public and private sectors.
He conceded when questioned that his findings were based on anecdotal evidence and not any scientific survey or study, with Bellot telling reporters that he had been operating over the past several months without a budget.
He defended the percentage figures he advanced by explaining that his conclusions were based for example on interaction “with 200 people where only 40 came through as being very serious”.
The Public Service Union (PSU) which represents the majority of public workers in the country, has denounced the figures being advanced by Productivity Consultant Bellot.
“That is not true, I don’t know how he arrived at his figures,” PSU General Secretary Thomas Letang told Dominica News Online.
“If you are a consultant and you are charged with that level of responsibility then you have to make sure that you do a professional assessment of the situation,” Letang said of Bellot.
He told DNO that there were many areas of the public service where it was difficult to assess the work of employees, including nurses, querying whether they should be judged on the number of people they attended to or the quality of service provided.
“I am fully aware of the level of sacrifice being made by public officers, you find on certain days there are people who are working up to seven o’clock in the evening. If that is not productivity I want to know what it is,” Letang said.
He also suggested that some public servants were hampered by the unavailability of equipment and tools in the performance of their duties.
“Now I will have to admit that there are people who are not giving their best … but overall the majority of public officers are performing very well, and I totally disagree with Mr Bellot,” The PSU General Secretary told DNO.
Parry Bellot told reporters at his news conference “The challenges of productivity in Dominica are very deep, are very profound”.
“There are a lot a lot of deep entrenched problems in getting the society generally more productive but especially the government institutions,” the consultant said.
He is recommending that the government tackles the productivity problem in the public service by concentrating on one ministry at a time, by changing the rules and incentives in a bid to improve productivity levels.
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