Is it incapability? Incompetency? Pride? Or is it just pure ignorance? What happens if some national pillars are shorter or are weaker than the rest? Will you trust our national roof to stay in place? Or will it lay to one side, adding enormous pressure on the stronger pillars until they themselves break down under the strain, consistently snapping off the stronger joints around the structure till one by one the pillars fall like domino, helping each other to fall until all that remains is nothing but a cloud of dust.
These are just words on paper painting a metaphorical image. But technically, this is what can happen if ignorance, incompetency and incapability unite to become stronger than their opposites.
What are we actually referring to when we talk about national pillars? Pillars are what holds the values and the integrity of the nation in balance, they are represented by several institutions such as the public sector, the media, civil society, political parties, the judiciary and several other institutions as shown below:
Normally, when a pillar is unsupported, the pillar next to it is forced to carry twice the amount of weight that it was initially designed to carry. As a result, the pressure on all pillars or institutions increase. Also, the thrust of their weights on the Foundation (politics, society, economy, culture) increases thoroughly, and with time the whole structure becomes unstable.
The demand for better services, better roads, no nepotism, no more motions, accurate reporting etc… technically, are pleas for a stronger, competent and stable structure.
The men and women who operate within these pillars hold great responsibilities; to uphold nationalistic values through good governance, honesty and fairness, to coordinate and make sure that the relevant services to society are fairly met. To be able to do this, the Public Service including all the government companies are required to recruit people with the right qualities, the right mentality, and the brightest of the bunch.
Thus, it becomes concerning when we learn that the performance so far by some companies does not reflect what is expected from them. In April the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) revealed their findings after a weeklong session, the first finding on their list:
Institutions do not comply with the Public Finance and Economic Management (PFEM) ACT, (17).
Again, the questions reappear ‘Is it incapability? Incompetency? Pride? Or is it just pure ignorance?’ It was further emphasized that the Public Service laws must be enforced thoroughly; a) when recruiting, b) when they (public servants) do not perform.
During last week’s TIV’s weekly radio show at 96 BUZZ FM, the recruitment topic re-surfaced; do we have the right people at the right places? If so, then why did they ‘admitted’ to breaking the law? Were they ever fully aware of the laws that govern them?
It is recommended that the Public Service enforce their laws. The recruitment process should be more thorough and extensive, for instance whenever there is a vacancy the advertisement for that post is published, each applicant is required to submit all their necessary details. After that, all the shortlisted candidates go through the interview process, once the successful candidate is selected, he or she must then go through another week of training or orientation, where he or she intensively learns about the relevant laws that govern and guide the individuals working environment. The successful candidate will only assume his or her duty in the vacant post if he or she successfully; a) completes the training, b) passes a test/assignment. If they fail, either they get a second chance, or a new potential candidate is selected from the previous pool of interviewees.
Looking at the PAC findings, it is clear that each institution ‘failed’ to submit financial statements and their audited reports, each individual reluctantly ‘admitted’ to breaking their financial rules. As each passing day draws us nearer to the final submission deadline – June -, the pressure is on. How many have submitted their reports? ‘None! Very few!’ we have received contradicting reports.
It would be interesting to see what actions are taken against those that do not submit their reports by the deadline; will the punishment fall on the company? Or on the person that leads it?