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Cabinet approves plan to modernize recruitment and promotion in Public Service; Public Service Union offers support to revamp “corrupt” system

Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2022. 3:40 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Cabinet says it has approved a proposal by the Ministry of the Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform, and Religious Affairs, to modernize the recruitment and promotion system and to revamp and modernize the Human Resource Management systems.

The objective, it notes, is to create a more professional, responsive, and effective Belize Public Service.

This afternoon in an interview, Public Service Union (PSU) president Dean Flowers offered cautious support, tying the issue to the appointment of the body responsible for promotion, the Public Service Commission (PSC): “There is a need to look at how we could get the best people – not only within the Public Service – but to get the best people promoted. The reality is the system has been corrupted, perverted, and politicized and that is why it is not working.”

Flowers added that the concept paper presented to Cabinet proposes to move to a merit-based recruitment and promotion system rather than one based on seniority; he says each has its pros and cons. But the PSC, which Flowers charges should have been operating independently, was corrupted under the previous administration, and he fears the lengthy delay of the current administration to appoint a new one may presage the same fate.

When one is ultimately appointed, Flowers said, they should consider these issues: “How do we get heads of departments and supervisors and CEOs on board in terms of doing the right thing, ensuring that appraisals are not subjective, but in fact are very objective rather than being subjective? How do we get them to do the appraisals? How do we get them to be honest when doing the appraisals? How do we ensure that the people who sit on the interviewing panels are people with integrity and with the human resource expertise necessary to be able to look at candidates for employment and promotion?”

The failure to look at these issues previously has resulted in people in middle and senior management who “aren’t cutting it” in Flowers’ view and leading to issues in the Public Service.

 

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