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    07-Aug-2022

Public administration reform — no option, but to succeed - By Khalid Dalal, Jordan News

 

 

The writer is a former advisor at the Royal Hashemite Court, former director of media and communication at the Office of His Majesty King Abdullah, and works currently as a senior advisor for media, strategic communication, PR, international cooperation, and business development locally, regionally and globally.
 
The newly announced public administration reform plan completes the chain of reforms led by the Royal vision, based on the integration of political, economic, and public aspects to create a prosperous future Jordan and Jordanians are worthy of as the country takes its first steps in its second century.
 
 
 
However, public sector reform has its own peculiarities, which make it stand out as more vital than the two others, as it is the key for their success.
 
For starters, a task force assigned by the Cabinet, “the Committee to Modernize the Public Sector”, has recently presented the outcomes of worth of work to His Majesty King Abdullah, identifying seven pillars that need special attention leading to improvement and modernization: public services, procedures and digitization, organizational structures and administration, policy and decision-making, human resources, laws, and institutional culture.
 
During the presentation, panel members spoke “about the main pillars of the roadmap, which includes 206 initiatives focused on bringing about qualitative leaps in government services, streamlining and bolstering the efficiency of the public sector, expediting digital transformation, restructuring and merging public institutions, and nurturing excellence and innovation”.
 
Why does public sector reform pose more risk to the entire vision than political and economic reform?
 
… when it comes to public administration reforms, there are no excuses and people expect to see tangible changes as soon as possible.
The overall reform drive seeks, among its objectives, to rebuild the diminishing trust between the public and the government administration. The public opinion understands that economic reform is a challenging battle in light of the snowballing global economic crisis that surfaced after two years of a pandemic, a decade of regional turmoil brought about by the Arab Spring, and now the Russian-Ukrainian war. The public is also aware that economic growth will be expressed in figures and therefore, a change in the present reality will be slow and only measurable in figures issued by specialized local and international agencies.
 
Political reform, on the other hand, is about building a culture of engagement preceded by changes to legislation to facilitate acceptance in the collective mentality.
 
But when it comes to public administration reforms, there are no excuses and people expect to see tangible changes as soon as possible.
 
This is why His Majesty said that “the ultimate objective of modernizing the public sector is to improve services provided to citizens and bolster the efficiency of public administration”.
 
This can be measured on the spot by the average citizen dealing with any agency for day-to-day business with the government. There is nowhere to hide or sweep anything under the rug. People expect to see no wasta or sluggishness in the delivery of public services; they expect to see real transparency in procedures and clarity in regulations, and, above all, no corruption.
 
It is safe to claim that the public-government relationship and restoring public trust in government hinge on the success of this plan.
 
Public sector reform is certainly a make-or-break mission for all of us. It must succeed, as it means a better future for our generation and generations to come.
 
 
Khalid Dalal is a former advisor at the Royal Hashemite Court, former director of media and communication at the Office of His Majesty King Abdullah, and works currently as a senior advisor for media, strategic communication, PR, international cooperation, and business development locally, regionally and globally. khaliddalal@aol.com
 

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