By Peter Stevenson
REFORM of the public sector will play a pivotal role if Cyprus is to exit the financial crisis Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said yesterday.
Georgiades gave an address ahead of an event held by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) at the finance ministry on the future of the government.
Presentations followed about government reform from Jan Sturesson, a global leader of government and public services industry at PWC and by Emmanuella Lambrianides, the commissioner for the reform of the civil service who presented the government’s action plan for the coming year regarding public sector reforms.
Georgiades expressed the government’s determination to reform the public services and said he believed the private sector’s assistance was vital.
“I would like to underline the fact that a private organisation is taking this initiative as the goal of reforming the government cannot be achieved internally,” he said.
Georgiades added it was a broader issue which affected everyone as taxpayers, and as consumers but mainly as citizens.
“The public sector, undoubtedly, has a pivotal role to play if our country is to exit from the financial crisis and by becoming more efficient it can offer better quality and faster services to the private sector, the business world and the public,” he said.
Georgiades added that for this to happen however, the public service needed to change, to modernise and to improve.
“The public sector needs to be part of the change the country requires so it can respond to modern challenges in becoming the fundamental factor in the creation of a modern and efficient state,” he said.
The finance minister added that modernising the public service should be based on better use of human resources, the use of modern management methods and reorganising structures in response to the current situation.
“Within modern organisations the best employees should be rewarded and given the most responsibility so the creation and implementation of an efficient evaluation system for civil servants is of the utmost importance,” he said.
He also spoke of the need for flexibility within the government and the need to create a strategic programme to identify productivity levels within each department.
“Establishing a system of meritocracy, transparency and accountability will help improve the functioning of institutions and increase the reliability of public administration towards the public,” he said.
“Many things need to be done for the Republic of Cyprus to become a modern European state. Our words must become actions and our efforts must be combined.”