The Ministry of Finance will be undertaking a review of the programmes, expenditure and staffing complement in all ministries, in the coming months.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, addressing a virtual audience during the opening session of HR Public Service Week on Monday, said the process would be thorough.
“We will do so confident that we have gone through with a fine-tooth comb all of the posts that we have all of the posts that are vacant; all of the posts that can be used from lapsed funds, so that we’re not spending money both in 101 and 102, when we have the capacity to be able to use lapse and funds from 101, and why? For every officer that we have doubly budgeted for, that is money taking away from doing something else. And, therefore, each ministry must account for exactly where persons are at,” she underlined.
Ms. Mottley also touched on the need for retraining in the public sector in light of the climatic events last year – the ash fall, the freak storm and Hurricane Elsa – all occurring within three months, and threatened the country’s ability to survive.
Additionally, she stated that the global supply chain crisis on the country’s food security necessitated the need for an inward introspection as to “what is your job, or identify what your job is?”
Ms. Mottley said: “Structure follows function. And if we need to retrain people in our departments, the only people who can send out that message is you.
When you say … we have four or five clerical officers that used to do XYZ and a messenger that used to do…. I want them retrained to be able to be purposeful for the purposes that we need.”
The Prime Minister continued: “We now have digitisation to do across the board in so many departments, and that, in and of itself, is likely to be a two, three, four-year exercise depending on which department you’re talking about, but absolutely critical to government’s ability to function.”
Ms. Mottley noted that going forward, there would be a need for other skills that were “not necessarily administrative” in the public service, but could result in additional persons being brought in to areas where there is a serious shortage of manpower.
Pointing out that she received correspondence from the Ministry of the Public Service regarding the creation of new jobs, the Prime Minister contended that the process must be rationalised to avoid a “bloating of the public sector”.
“It could only be bloated if it is not effective for purpose. If we are trying to trigger growth and everybody’s coming to work in order to add to that there is a compelling case as we see with the World’s Economic Forum’s projections that while you may lose 85 million jobs, you are gaining 97 million. But those 97 million jobs are going to look a lot different from the 85 million jobs that you are losing,” Ms. Mottley underlined.