Editorial: Deadwood

POSTED: 08/8/13 2:24 PM

The government has put a stop on hiring new personnel. That sounds like a wise move, even though there will of course always be critical vacancies that must be filled.

But for now, with the financial quandary the country has maneuvered itself into over the years, it would not hurt to take a good hard look at who is working in the civil service, what these people are doing and if the country really needs them.

Before St. Maarten obtained country status, the civil service was around 1,100 strong. According to the 2012 budget, the service had in less than three years ballooned to 1,800.

These people cost money and as long as they are doing useful stuff their positions are obviously justified. But what about the deadwood? Every organization has them, and government organizations are no exception.

Mean and lean is key in the private sector, but the concept is alien to government organizations. Under the current conditions such an approach is no longer tenable. The country’s needs ought to come before the urge to offer cozy jobs to potential voters.

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