Pundits object to abolishing Labor Ministry

The headquarters of the Ministry of Labor. (Photo: Twitter)
AMMAN — Jordan’s government insisted that modernizing the public sector would boost its efficiency. But pundits questioned the justification for the move and voiced concern over a planned abolition of the Ministry of Labor, saying that may jumble the labor market.اضافة اعلان

On Sunday, His Majesty King Abdullah reasserted that the ultimate objective of the modernization is to improve services provided to citizens and to bolster the efficiency of public administration.

The king urged coordination among state institutions to ensure the implementation of the modernization roadmap, which includes in its first phase an action plan for the years 2022 to 2025.

Former minister Jawad Anani, an expert on national economy, questioned the justifications for the merger, or restructuring. He declined further comment, saying he could not assess the matter for the lack of clarity of the objectives and justifications, and for the abolition of the Ministry.

Radi Al-Atoum, a former director-general of the Institute of Public Administration, said some of the proposals were good, such as the merger of the Ministry of Education with the Ministry of Higher Education, since the nature of the work of the two ministries was interdependent and complementary.

On the other hand, he said that the abolition of the Labor Ministry was “totally inappropriate”. He justified his position, saying the ministry has a key role in supervising and organizing labor issues and the labor market, “With the increase in the problems of unemployment and poverty, it is necessary to keep it intact,” he asserted.

He said that the aim of the merger is to improve the level of current services and respond to today’s requirements. “This will not be achieved through this program because the recommendations are incompatible with the merger’s goal,” he noted.

A committee entrusted with carrying out the modernization scheme is headed by Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh.

He said the plan’s roadmap identified seven components as a top priority for improvement and modernization, including government services, procedures and digitization, organizational structure and governance, policymaking and decision-making, among others.
Former minister Jawad Anani, an expert on national economy, questioned the justifications for the merger, or restructuring.
Khasawneh said that merging government ministries and departments, excluding security agencies and the armed forces, will be carried out 2022 to 2024, “without prejudice to workers’ rights, or dispensing with their services”.

Ex–Cabinet minister Majd Al-Shweikeh said that the integration is important to modernize the public sector and seek political and economic reform.

She said that requires improving the infrastructure to provide better services, stressing that the merger and restructuring are a small part of the plan’s road map.

Shweikeh confirmed that she supported the merger and the restructuring plan as a whole because “what is on the ground is not the desired model”.

“This step is based on previous studies, and the government has followed up and developed previous plans, and this achievement needs time, but it is not impossible, especially if we rely on good and structured planning,” she pointed out.

But she pointed to possible resistance to the government’s plan. “The fear lies in the reluctance or resistance to change, so there must be a tight change management program, especially since this will only cost us time,” she said.

“This move is for the benefit of citizens through the unified service centers for citizens,” Shweikeh added.

Maher Al-Madadha, a former minister of public sector development, said that the integration of ministries and government institutions is considered “one of the pillars of modernizing the public administration”.

That, he added, is known as a component of restructuring the government and the public sector to improve the administrative apparatus and its institutions to remove all forms of bureaucracy which slows economic growth.

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