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May 02, 2007



Change at the political level may well be good. However, without a transformation in the public service -- which is terminal -- it is a superficial change only. Public servants can execute plans very slowly, but they can block plans very quickly and efficiently, and the public service as it is currently constituted is a force for conservatism and stagnation.

And no government has had the balls to tackle the problem head-on. Perhaps if we voted them out every five years, then maybe, with nothing to lose, the politicians will bite the bullet and turn the public service into a place where merit and efficiency and nationalism are rewarded, rather than a place where one needs to be a sycophant or a foot-kisser to get ahead.

larry smith

Quite. But that is a story for another time.

And aren't you a civil servant?


Civil? Not particularly. Servant? ... of the Bahamian people, I hope, not so much its politicians.

Yes, I am technically a civil servant — by which I mean I have received a letter from the Governor-General appointing me to the service.

I am, however, not temperamentally a civil servant. There is too much waste and bureaucracy in the system.

I speak from experience. Trust me. The system needs to be changed. I've said it before: it was designed to administer a colony, not to run an independent nation. It needs to be dismantled and built up again from the ground. This, of course, will be difficult, perhaps next to impossible, because the very people who have the authority to do that are the people who will be most affected by the change.

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