Bridging the gap: The chasm that’s killing Guyana

first_imgEveryone agrees that strategic execution is important, but the disconnect between strategy-making and strategy-execution continues to plague this People’s National Congress (PNC)-dominated Government across all sectors.Irrespective that this 2018 Budget is the biggest ever, what is sorely missing from this document are the ideas that can competently secure optimal value for money. Thus, billions are wasted every year on expenses that have negligible impact on the people: such an overseas travel and accommodation by Ministers to useless trips, like a mercury conference, which the President attended in Switzerland. On many occasions, it appears that the intended beneficiary of the 2017 spending programme in the Public Sector was not the ordinary people, but a PNC/Alliance For Change (AFC) elite political cabal, their friends, and their families, as this small group of under-100 PNC/AFC folks enjoy a good life.In the real world, a nation’s leadership typically drives strategy-making; but from his performance over the last 30 months, we must not expect much from President Granger. Like his predecessor, former President Ramotar, they unfortunately are both unfit and under-skilled for the job at hand.There is now enough evidence to prove that he is incapable of setting the required strategic direction for the nation, and that is why we are seeing so many pageants in the presidential function today; it is all a diversionary tactics to hide Granger’s incompetence.If one were to ask Granger the hard question on the goals and developmental metrics of his Government, it is clear as day he would float. If one were to ask him to define his strategy as a President, he may say, “Taking the Guyanese to the good life”. But what is the good life? And how does he plan to take the people there?You see, unless you can define the mission and lay out the “HOW”, you are nothing but a loser as a CEO; and clearly, this is the role Granger seems to have acquired a “legal transport” over – a political loser. An economy must be project managed; and like him or hate him, this is where Bharrat Jagdeo shone.It is clear as day that President Granger is unaware of the details of the workings of the Public Sector Implementation Programme (PSIP), and this is his fundamental failing. Rather, he has outsourced it to two other gentlemen; Harmon (a lawyer) and Jordan (who calls himself an economist). But clearly, in their competition for power, they have collectively bungled the entire project management process. So, in the final analysis, there is little alignment between the strategy and the required project-based work; and thus the strategy is difficult for the ordinary public servant to understand.If the public servants who have to do the day-to-day detailed implementation are struggling to understand the strategy of the Government, then they are not adequately enabled to proceed appropriately at delivering value and results.The bottom line remains that Granger does not offer adequate clarity to connect the dots between the works the implementers are responsible for executing, and how those relate to the desired strategic outcome. Thus, unless Granger learns his job quickly, this economy is doomed.Today, all we are observing is the prioritisation of the pageantry projects, like repainting State House rather than fixing the productive sectors, like the sugar industry. The praxis for the entire decision-making process under Granger is extremely flawed, because he is spending billions of dollars on projects that will not be generating money, but would be sucking even more money from the economy.My grandmother left me with an elementary skill many moons ago – you must always invest in real estate, and never in fancy, expensive cars. At the London Business School, this principle was confirmed by real evidence, with the professor clarifying why this strategy is important to expand wealth.If one observes this 2018 Budget, it has just under a billion dollars in travel, hotels, and food for the big boys. But what is startling is if one observes the Ramotar years vs the Granger years, one would see exposed the backward mentality of Granger (shine clothes and nice dresses while the ordinary people are put on the breadline on the sugar estate). There is no better explanation of this backward pageantry mentality of Granger than by exposing that he would have spent three and a half times as much as Ramotar on State House over a three-year period, as the table below extracted from the 2018 Budget exposes.It is clear that Granger does not get the fact that “pageantries” do not feed and house the nation. Even Burnham knew better on how to serve the people. Wither Guyana under Granger?last_img read more

Public teachers strike to continue next week

first_imgCosta Rican Educators Union President Gilberth Díaz on Friday said a nationwide teachers’ strike would continue into a fourth week. Unions will evaluate future actions on Tuesday, following payment reports they are expected to receive from members on Monday.“We will continue to strike. Actions will include road closures and street demonstrations, and they will continue until we receive a report saying all teachers have received their full wages,” he said.Hundreds of educators on Friday blocked passage on the capital’s Second Avenue in a march to demand full back pay and a promise that future salary payments will not face delays.Protesters – mostly public teachers – began a march at 10 a.m. on Paseo Colón near La Sabana Park and arrived at the Finance Ministry in downtown San José shortly after noon.Teachers’ unions expected the demonstration to be joined by protests across the country, but only small groups gathered in other provinces. Participants in San José’s actions belonged mainly to three teachers’ unions, Caribbean dockworkers and Social Security System employees. A group of public university students and leftist parties also joined.The National Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP), a group comprising 110 unions, on Thursday evening decided not to participate in Friday’s march.ANEP’s Secretary General Albino Vargas in a public statement said that “a matter of logistics would not allow them to provide full support to the public demonstration on Friday.”Earlier on Thursday, Education Ministry (MEP) officials began collecting data of some 3,000 educators who have yet to receive back pay.But a report sent Thursday evening by MEP officials indicated that only 262 educators visited the ministry’s 27 regional offices to provide personal information in order to begin the payment process.Education Minister Sonia Marta Mora said the lack of response by teachers to a government initiative to solve the problem indicated that many probably are waiting for the next payment MEP had promised for next Monday.The strike, which already has reached its third week, was caused by failures in computer systems used by MEP to pay teachers. Errors affected thousands of educators who did not receive salaries.On Friday morning, union leaders claimed they had offered the government several solutions such as being paid through any of the teachers’ associations or via checks from any of the country’s public banks.High School Teachers’ Association (APSE) President Gilberto Cascante said unions seek “any type of efficient payment method” that can guarantee teachers will receive full salaries on time. He added that former Education Minister Leonardo Garnier should explain what happened with the ministry’s funds to pay salaries.Garnier on Wednesday used social media to deliver a message saying that “a backlog in payment of public teachers’ salaries did not originate from the transition to a new computer system, but rather from problems caused by the old payment system.”In Friday’s demonstration, teachers carried cilantro bunches to protest remarks made by President Luis Guillermo Solís asking teachers to go back to work.  Solís on Wednesday used an old Tico saying: “Bueno es el culantro, pero no tanto,” (which loosely translates to: cilantro is good, but not in excess).“Enough is enough” Solís said.Friday’s march ended at 1 p.m., and union leaders entered a meeting with MEP officials. APSE posted on its Facebook page that they would explain their position in a national TV broadcast. The video will air over the weekend on channels 6, 7, 9 and 11. Teachers carry bunches of cilantro to protest remarks made by President Luis Guillermo Solís, who used a Tico saying to urge teachers to end a strike and go back to work. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Education Ministry promises to pay most teachers by Monday night Education Ministry breaks its promise, fails to pay teachers, unions say As teacher strike continues, government announces plan to distribute back pay Costa Rica’s month-long teachers’ strike comes to an endlast_img read more