Paper work in Yemen [Archives:2005/892/Viewpoint]

November 7 2005

If you find yourself having to go through the awful experience of doing paper work in any of the Yemeni government offices then you should know you are cursed, whether it was a driving license or applying for a job transfer or having to pay your taxes, it means spending many hours if not days at the various rooms of the governmental offices, especially if you are a foreigner residing in Yemen., there is a huge amount of effort and time spent to get the legal paper work done for any foreigner who wishes to reside in Yemen, to work, study or even volunteer.

When it comes to projects between countries then the dimension of pain is much worse, a donor country may feel satisfied and happy to assist in the development in Yemen through financial aid or through providing personnel, needed equipment or supplies, However, once they send their delegates, with the project proposal from the Yemeni side and it seems things will go fine, then once all of a sudden the dilemma starts with the paper work having to be done, These delegates do not really realize the hard time their Yemeni colleagues are going through just to get the legal paper right.

Tens of signatures, killing bureaucracy coupled with careless employees creating the worst nightmare one can have, what adds to the frustration is knowing that you are only following the rules in case of personal paperwork or you are doing this for the sake of the country such as this case of donor projects.

The problem is that government employees do not appreciate the importance of public service or feel responsible towards others; they don't care if they are wasting people's time or energy, unless, of course, the magical work of bribery is involved, forcing people to bribe their way to get their paperwork done.

Donors are put off because of these incidents, having to lost their trust in the Yemeni system (a fact today, that lead to reducing donor aid), but also it slows down progress in turn hindering the development process of this country, where time stops in governmental agencies and work is only done by means of bribery and seducing public service employees to get their jobs done.