Amid mounting pressure on the Government to cut its massive public-sector wage bill by down-sizing the number of workers in the public sector, some financial analysts are cautioning the powers that be to tread carefully.
Financial analyst Dennis Chung, who was addressing the Mona School of Business and Management Economic Action Plan Forum at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Tuesday evening, said addressing the inefficiency in the sector must be paramount before such a decision is taken.
"As far as I am concerned, what we should be looking at is the efficiency in the public sector rather than the number of people we have," Chung said.
"If we lay off people with the inefficient sector we have, we are going to have a worse problem in the public sector. We have to get the efficiency right."
SERIOUS DELIBERATION NEEDED
Adding that the country is still at a loss as to whether the number of workers in the public sector is what is needed to get the job done, senior lecturer on international business and head of UWI's Department of Management Studies, Dr Densil Williams, said there needs to be serious deliberation.
"We need to think about what is it that they (the Government) have to deliver; how many people they need to deliver this. We still don't know if whatsoever number that is in the public sector today is really the correct number because they have not had serious discussions on what the Government ought to do," Williams said.
NOT ABOUT CUTTING
"It is not about cutting but creating a more efficient and effective public service. The efficiency of the service will determine the number of persons that is needed to carry out the function of the Government. That niche should be identified in a clear way before we can talk about cutting."
Williams also proposed that the Government consider implementing a central procurement system for public bodies as part of measures to downsize the public sector.
"Why can't we think about rationalising and have a central human resource system for public bodies? I don't know if it's possible but I definitely think that this is something we should think of because there we know we (would) deal with the inefficiency issue and save costs as well," Williams said.