By Charumini de Silva
A senior minister last week lamented that there was a big gap between policies and their implementation at the Cabinet level, emphasising the need to improve efficiency at the public sector level.
“Every week the Cabinet is loaded with lots of good ideas, piling up like a heap of leaves, but how much of them are actually implemented?” Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said at a discussion on ‘Strategies to foster a culture of engagement and boost employee productivity’ organised by the National Human Resources Development Council of Sri Lanka, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, Association of Human Resource Professionals and the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka.
“Some of the ideas are just encouraged, partly because you don’t want to offend that enterprising minister, so they all say it’s a very good idea. Every Minister and Secretary feels that they have to make a huge contribution to modern knowledge, but how much of it can be implemented within the timelines, within certain financial parameters? What’s the upshot of all these good ideas? It’s a question we need to address immediately,” the Minister said.
“Improving productivity in all sectors of the economy is a critical factor to achieve national goals and if we fail in that I think we have to be honest enough to realise that many of our development goals improving the living standards of the people will suffer,” he warned.
The Minister called on professionals and academics to intervene and help policymakers to make some hard decisions to inculcate a culture of productivity in the Sri Lankan system.
Amunugama also said that public sector productivity became a crucial aspect of growth in Sri Lanka and called on government institutions and enterprises to re-examine their HR practices, stressing that it was critical to address their concerns to use them in a better way. He stressed the need to retrain public sector employees to improve productivity in the workplace.
At the forum a copy of the Sri Lanka Human Capital Road Map was presented to the Minister by National Human Resource Development Council Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody, who emphasised the need to implement the recommendations in the report. See also Page 9