Our Readers' Opinions
April 13, 2006

Anomalies and ironies in SVG Public Service

EDITOR: Some ironies and anomalies personally observed within the St. Vincent and The Grenadines Public Service:

1. Nominally and titularly, the implication is that these employees, paid by tax dollars, and employed to serve the public that pays their salaries, are in their position to serve the public.

2. Upon entering an office of any Government branch, Ministry, or area of authority, and standing in line for some time behind folks who are (a) in the wrong line (b) in the wrong office, or (c) unsure of what it is they want to accomplish or where to go to accomplish it, one encounters an actual person and states their desired purpose.{{more}}

3. One is then told that the person who handles this is (a) unavailable, (b) on break (c) on leave or (d) in a meeting.

4. When and if one is fortunate enough to encounter an actual employee empowered to transact your humble request, there is likely (a) a hitherto undisclosed form that must be completed, notarized and counter signed, (which may or may not be currently available or in stock, or which one must seek at another line or window or office, and additionally, a fee, charge, revenue stamps, or some other form of remuneration (also not previous disclosed) must be paid or obtained elsewhere-not in this line, not in this office, not in this building.

5. Upon successfully completing all the aforementioned procedures, one is then told it will take a day, or two or 5 or 12 days, or a month or two or more to process the requested document or action because certain procedures are not yet in place or certain forms are not available, or “they” are awaiting a Government decision as to which Ministry, department, bureau or office should be properly responsible for acting upon the request.

It amazes me that we haven’t seen more confrontation in Government offices.

If I ran an incompetent civil service, I would certainly not be keen on affording the citizenry means of violent retribution.

After all, God knows, it is easier to repress physical attacks on an incompetent, lazy and malfeasant Public Service than it is to rectify its endemic problems. There are ten or more employees that are chatting with their co-workers, or on a cell phone with friends or family, for every one that is honestly not only keeping up their own end, but trying to cover for their inept fellow Public Servants. The one-in-ten needs a big raise (because, if not, they are going to leave anyway due to being fed up, and their competency will afford them better positions elsewhere), and the rest require dismissal NOW. Keep the worthy and properly dispose of the rest NOW.

If I sound angry, it is only because I am echoing a massive disgust for the treatment the average man receives at the hands of “Public Servants”.