“spotty” results from attempts to improve public sector efficiency

Participants at today’s Productivity Council seminar.
Participants at today’s Productivity Council seminar.

Faced with a $400 million fiscal deficit and the consequential need to improve efficiency in the public sector, the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados this morning identified a number of challenges to achieving this.

Dr Delisle Worrell told the first in a series of productivity awareness programmes dubbed “Get Up”, that the results of measures introduced to improve public sector efficiency, had been “spotty”.

“The … challenge of improving public sector efficiency has been with us for some time. A number of initiatives have been undertaken, but the results have been admittedly, spotty. The growth challenge has proved to be an incentive to focus sharply on this requirement,” Worrell added.

He suggested that improved productivity and service excellence were the basis on which Barbados aimed to improve its international competitiveness.

“Barbados specialises in high-end products and services for the most part. Our high quality tourism services are the most remuneratively. Our international businesses require sophisticated skills and our aged rums, have made a name for Barbados internationally,” the Governor continued.

Worrell said the way to improve the island’s competitiveness in these sectors was to enrich the product offerings, improve the quality of products and services, market strategically and increase worker productivity.

“Initiatives are underway in each of these areas,” he added.

Worrell stated that institutional arrangements had been established to assist Barbados to meet the challenge of increasing productivity and achieving excellence of service in the private and public sectors.

“We must use these institutions to place renewed focus and energy on these issues … a number of programmes are underway. There are programmes which need to be revived and we are implementing new initiatives such as this series of workshops,” declared Worrell.

The Central Bank governor agreed that lowering the price of products without improving productivity would not restore competitiveness.

“By sufficiently improving quality, it is possible to improve competitiveness, even with higher prices. The key to competing successfully, is to match quality to price and then offer something extra that makes Barbados special. These are the issues that will consume our attention in the weeks and months ahead. (EJ)

One Response to “spotty” results from attempts to improve public sector efficiency

  1. Tony Webster September 4, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Please Sir: to improve our competiveness in the four sectors identified, does include all of the suggested remedies you mention. However, we note that “initiatives are underway in all of these areas”. Sounds very good, indeed.

    May I offer that the single greatest challenge (and solution), has apparently escaped mention: the small matter of a changing national attitudes. When a roof is leaking badly, Sir, the solution is not the strategically-placed bucket. Or many buckets. You have to face the reality, of possibly replacing the roof. Simply put; we must admit that we have to re-build our society, and economy; and our social fabric. We have to attack entrenched, wrong-headed attitudes in adults (which we have for decades, misconstrued as “normal”)…while simultaneously re-building our education from primary and secondary. This will be a costly, painful, and long process. If we get it wrong, Barbados 20-30 years from now, will be un-recognizable…our many achievements a faded and a sad shadow.

    The first imperative is as always, to accept the realities and the and the challenges. The “take two aspirin and come back in two weeks” ” approach to fiscal haemorrages and a critically-ill economy…ain’t gonna work: call in the Medical Registrar and the surgeons STAT, please: we here facing surgery, Sir…maybe, an amputation..but we gotta save the guy’s life. Just Gotta.

    I’m convinced that Bajans have the sense; the maturity; the resilience and moral sinews, to achieve all that is required. Where I feel faint and falter, is when I ask myself: wherefore the leadership? How, exactly, can we shape our individual and collective will into a cohesive “Team Bim”? Starting today!

    Beware misconstruing silence, as acqiescence: when wealth- or a family- “re-locates”…it’s usually for good reason; performed deftly, and quietly; and with the fact being recognised “post-impact”… when it’s too late!

    It’s a jungle out there, Sir!


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