Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Productivity and accountability

Published:Thursday | December 21, 2017 | 12:09 AM


Public sector agents and agencies like to compare themselves with the private sector when it comes to matters of remuneration and compensation. But have they ever stopped to consider the comparison in terms of productivity and accountability? Are they held accountable for specific outcomes and results, or the lack thereof?

Case in point is the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). By their own admission, their mantra is 'to serve, protect and reassure with courtesy, integrity and respect for the rights of all'. I'd like to ask, to what extent are any of these objectives being met?

I believe the government needs to look more critically at the command structures in the JCF and insist on accountability as a key requirement to retaining leadership positions.

The minister of national security has portfolio responsibility for ensuring the reasonable security of the people of the country.

If the JCF is to be any part of the mechanism whereby this is to be accomplished, the minister must set policy in such a way that the commissioner of police in his operational role and is given specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound goals in terms of what the JCF, under his leadership, is expected to deliver at the end of the day.

The commissioner, in turn, must be made to do likewise in relation to his 'lieutenants' and subordinates, with each having to give an account through a hierarchy for their performance outcomes.

This is how it is done in modern, progressive private sector organisations.

If current laws or regulations impede such an approach, then they must be repealed. Otherwise, we will forever be wasting resources on a police force that will never fulfil its stated mantra.

D. Gray