Mistakes mustn’t be corrected by other mistakes [Archives:2007/1108/Opinion]

December 3 2007

Muneer Ahmad Qaied
The report, forwarded by the Parliamentary Labor and Social Affairs Committee, was recently discussed by members of parliament after it was referred to them by the Parliament Presidency Board to review the progress of placing in effect the Law No. 45 of 2005 concerned with the new system of salaries and wages. It touched upon a sensitive and vital issue while MPs did their best for discussing the report and highlighting the issues it shed light on. Now, we needn't the same ideas, viewpoints and recommendations given by MPs at their session assigned for discussing the report to be repeated once again, as the issue necessitates comprehensive discussion and objective assessment of any relevant problems. The discussion is a modest attempt to explain some of the aspects of the issue but lack complete details on the issue as a whole.

It is worth mentioning that the government has started to carry out comprehensive reforms since 1995 and reached successful achievements in economic areas during the early years of economic reforms implementation. But, the progress of reforms was hindered over the recent years and this caused several successful achievements reached in the economic sector to deteriorate. It was supposed for the march of reforms to attain good success in other areas and sectors such as the administrative one. If radical reforms were carried out in the administrative field, any relevant success would be in favor of citizens. Moves toward administrative reforms began in the 1990s but their progress was somewhat slow and there was no clear goal for such steps.

All these problems stopped the wheel of administrative reforms that primarily aimed to tackle inflation, reshuffle management, upgrade performance of the government executive offices and improve living standards of public sector workers. All these were the main goals behind the government's moves toward administrative reforms. In light of this, the government set a new strategy for wages and salaries with the aim of achieving a key goal related with driving forward the wheel of administrative reforms. Within the context of efforts pursued for achieving this goal, other goals are being reached such as improving the living standards of government employees and helping them lead a stable life. Public sector workers were strongly encouraged to learn how to be more creative and productive as such is reflected in the whole performance of the state's administrative system.

The government's new strategy aimed to drop names of the dead, those who don't work and the surplus workforce from payrolls and put an end to the phenomenon of multiple-post employees. Thus, we realize that the continued infringements, problems, negatives and mistakes in the government administrative system serve the interests of corrupt individuals and influential persons, who are fund of the illegal earning of money and property.

Maintaining our respect for the hard efforts pursued by the concerned government bodies and Parliament for preparing the new wage and salary strategy and applying it in real-life situation, we are angered by corrupt officials, who made out of the strategy a rampant confusion and chaos in the government institutions. Implementing the strategy was transferred into a public opinion issue in order to hinder the strategy from addressing the living standards of the government employees. The concerned bodies in the government started implementing the strategy with false introductions, which in turn led to false and non-reliable results. The strategy's implementation was accompanied by mistakes, thereby compelling public sector employees to lose their confidence and have no trust in the strategy. The group of corrupt officials intervened in implementing the strategy to adapt it in their favor, and this hampered efforts exerted for eliminating the phenomenon of multi-dippers or multi-post employees. The payrolls haven't been cleared of the dead and those who don't work. Thus, the poor living standards of the government employees go from bad to worse, and this issue requires expending serious efforts to dismiss any corrupt officials in the key government positions since they are responsible for the sufferings of modest employees. The government junior employees need stable life in order to be more productive and contribute to the national development of the country.

As long as the state works on establishing great strategic projects to help reduce the high unemployment rates, such a move should be accompanied by real solutions to the persisting problems and issues. A top priority should be given to dealing with the repeated infringements in the state's administrative system and correcting mistakes as soon as they occur. All these moves are essential for interpreting and implementing the platform of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, particularly the parts addressing issues related with employees and their living standards.

Citizens hope that policies, work plans and programs should be devoted to serving the public interests of all Yemeni people without any exception. They also expect a brief reshuffling of the comprehensive development management in line with the noble goals sought by the majority of Yemenis, not in line with the opportunistic goals set by corrupt officials who are only interested in the illegal earning of money, property and any other personal interests.

Source: Al-Methaq weekly.