The Government’s decision to impose a temporary recruitment freeze in the Public Service is necessary to reduce public expenditure amidst the negative impacts of covid-19 on Government finances.
This is also to allow reallocation of resources to development projects will bring tangible benefits in the short to medium term.
While the decision may not be popular and likely to affect employment in the Public sector, it is only prudent that such measure is implemented. Once the country’s economic performance improves, the freeze can be abolished.
A statement from the Policy Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (PIMEU) in the Office of the Prime Minister highlighted that the Government should not remain as the largest employer with less to show for during difficult times.
Regardless of the negative impacts of covid-19, the reigning Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DGCA) under the leadership of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare continues to develop policies that will reverse the trend by promoting opportunities in the private sector to become the largest employer in the country.
Once this is achieved, the Government should only retain a lean work force in the economic sectors including essential services.
It added that some critics continue to accuse the Government following the announcement but they have failed to comprehend that addressing unemployment cannot be achieved overnight.
“The recruitment freeze is but one of the many measures the national government took to trim our public expenditures in order to free up funds toward our essential services and economic sectors,” the statement said.
“To continue getting in new recruits while the economy is slowing down is unwise and uneconomical,” it said.
“Some of these undertaking by the current DCGA are long overdue and thanks to the pandemic, we are slowly putting things on the right track,” the statement added.
Under the policy redirection by the DCGA in this year’s development budget, opportunities would be created in the private sector to absorb young qualified people.
Freezing of public service recruitment is not a new undertaking; governments worldwide often placed such moratorium as part of their austerity measures to cut debts in the public sector and maximize the efficiency of the public service.