A Chronic Disease   in Yemen Called Bureaucracy [Archives:2000/44/Viewpoint]

October 30 2000

Administration and the modalities of its function have nowadays become an advanced art and skill. It is rather a sophisticated science what needs hard work and study to fully acquire. It is no longer an ordinary or simple activity  but rather a science studied at the university with degrees granted to graduates. Long decades have lapsed since developed communities abandoned the old outdated styles of administration and replaced them by most advanced techniques and methods. They have computerized all administration work to expedite regardless of public grievance and save time and energy for other fruitful things. Therefore, good and developed administration has become a yardstick for measuring progress and development of societies and states. 
One of the most abhorrent  ills in administration and causes of backwardness is the red tape symbolized by excessive bureaucratic control and long series of formalities. Unfortunately almost all our Arab countries, including Yemen, are afflicted by this disease. No one can do without going to state institutions to complete certain official procedures necessary for his everyday life.  Here when one happens to go a state office usually carries a piece of paper as an application or petition and after long days of visits one comes out with a swollen bundle of papers accumulated after a long toilsome journey to rooms and corridors of that office. Of course all these formalities and visits would cost you much time and effort that could be used in other activities. It is a kind of long dragging battle causing heavy losses and damage. Even if you take a dying or injured person to hospital you will not get any first aid unless you fulfill long series of procedures, at the end of which the injured person may have lost his life.As a matter of fact it is now imperative to find solutions to this sad reality. Lot of paperwork must be reduced  to the minimum and transactions must be computerized instead of merely putting the many sets of computers on officials desks as part of the office decoration. Institutions should open branch offices in many areas of the city to avoid momentum of visits to headquarters of the main offices, like post office bureaus. Each office and each department should have a notice board listing the things needed for a certain transaction. One has to know  beforehand what things are needed from him before having his transaction completed to facilitate the whole process. Finally studies should be prepared and then discussed at the highest levels to find remedies to the disease of bureaucracy and its serious consequences.  The Editor