What Can We Do?!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 17 May / May 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

It is obvious that government is aware of the importance of addressing major imbalances in various spheres, with one particular aspect in common.

All ministries, without exception, are invested in "reform of public sector administration".

This is the highlight of official institution’s endeavour to restore the authority of the state, combat corruption, and close the confidence gap between state and citizens.

If I were the Prime Minister’s shoes, I would make it the highlight of my government’s project, one which is actually achievable within the Cabinet’s term.

Notably, it was the feature topic of the government’s first days in office, back when they first signed and began implementing the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

What can the government do now besides prioritising this particular objective?!

The entirety of the region surrounding us is on fire.

So far, there seems to be no real hope of a significant improvement in Syria, with there being some hope for the Iraqis situation to clear up, somewhat, with the collapse of Daesh, also known as ISIS.

Notably, restoring order in Iraq should help revitalise trade flow with our neighbours to the east.

However, for as long as the regional conditions are tense, betting on qualitative investments to relieve the economic noose is a unrealistic wager.

It is too soon, for instance, to bet on reconstruction projects in Syria.

Meanwhile, the past several months have shown us that waiting on our Arab brethren to shower us in aid and investments is not feasible.

The ceiling of expectations when it comes to Arab aid and financial support has dropped.

Parallel to the underway advancements of bilateral Iraqi-Jordanian relations, the signing of the oil pipeline agreement, for instance, there is fluctuation in the whole region’s relationship with Tehran.

Naturally, given Iran’s influence, these fluctuations almost definitely affect this file.

The only other thing the government could tend to, in light of all this, is the internal question of reforming public administration, to remedy the diseases festering inside the public sector.

Along these lines, the state could also tend to redefining the concepts and values of public service.

The purpose of this is to constitute a fundamental transmutation in the state-citizen relationship; both internally, as employees of the public sector and public servants, and externally, as citizens and beneficiaries of public service.

This is perhaps a valuable opportunity for the Government to work on its national priorities and the major tasks and challenges which have been deferred from decades.

These imbalances and issues, mindfully, have exhausted both the official institution and the citizenry alike.

It has reflected terribly on the public perception of the official body and government.

We are not, at all, implying that the government is unaware of this.

Quite contrarily, this has been the most recurrent topic of discussion behind closed doors as well as in the power halls of the Kingdom.

There are scattered applications here and there, on the side of talks about countering administrative corruption; some cases were taken to court even.

Similarly, there are parallel efforts by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs, underlined in previous articles.

The last of such measure to combat administrative corruption was the abolition of the Labour Adviser position, which annually cost the government humongous lumps.

Additionally, there is the underway curriculum development project, the battle against organised water theft, and tax evasion, amount to hundreds of millions in lost public revenues.

Despite it all, citizens do not feel like they are included in this "turn” or turning course.

Which is only natural when there are no real, tangible outcomes.

Why is that? Simply speaking, it is because all these efforts are in disjunction from one another, as well as from the concepts of continuity.

The official endeavour to carry out reforms is scattered all over the place, and it lacks the harmonious narrative and dynamic to build on momentum.

Instead of the orchestral, integrated, collaborative mechanism, every jay’s is singing to its own song, instead of putting it all together to mark a breakthrough in the official dynamic.

This limits the outcomes and effect of the government’s work, and more so, it dilutes it!

Collectively, these efforts lack framework and context.

In order for the government’s efforts to succeed, the official institution needs a unified tone, rhetoric, and lay out a consolidated roadmap, conveyed by a clear, consistent message to the public opinion.

Coordination in both vision and application is the main precursor to success.

The outcome of a real, consolidated, collaborative, and coordinated effort is worth more than all of those strategies lying on the government’s shelves!

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.