Anani tells PM to ‘stop this joke’ of public sector reform

Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh (far left) takes the podium at the Prime Ministry to discuss his plan for public sector reform. (Photo: Twitter)
Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh (far left) takes the podium at the Prime Ministry to discuss his plan for public sector reform. (Photo: Twitter)
AMMAN — Former Royal Court chief Jawad Anani launched a scathing attack on the government’s plan to modernize the public sector.اضافة اعلان

In an article published in Ammon News on Tuesday, Anani said that Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh is a wise man, but he has little experience.

“He intends to do the right thing, but his intentions find a path to the unknown, and this has been proven by the clear evidence of the plan presented a few days ago for administrative reform,” wrote Anani, a former prime minister and longtime minister of economic affairs.

“If the administrative reform is intended to dismantle some ministries, disengage some institutions, or merge some of them, then this is what we have tried in Jordan for four decades, during which we saw a decline in performance, a decline in productivity, and a significant increase in government costs to taxpayers,” he added.

Every time the proposals for dismantling and restructuring came from “non-objective people”, or that the subject was not studied in depth, because governments, including the serving one, did not provide Jordanians with a single convincing reason that their administrative procedures are justified.

Anani said the government also failed to explain how these arrangements serve its performance, or how these incomparable proposals are compatible with the 2030 vision and contribute to its realization.

The reform should have focused on defining the basic strategic goals of the economic vision, and building administrative systems capable of achieving these goals, he added.

He said the government should have ensured that the relevant institutions, ministries, and departments operate in a way that maximizes their energy and does not exhaust their efforts.

Instead, he added, “we forgot all this and replaced it with the following:

Abolishing the Ministry of Labor and distributing its functions to departments of other ministries creates a unique contradiction; … the Ministry of Labor had become very important in regulating the relationship between employers and workers, and instead of strengthening the ministry, which was transformed from a department in the Ministry of Social Affairs into a ministry in 1976, and we now want to abolish it, which is something that is unparalleled in the world.

Which country does not have a Ministry of Labor?” Anani asked.

Anani then made the same critique of plans to merge or abolish other ministries such as creating a Ministry of Education and Human Resources, or handing the responsibility of social security to be under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry Trade and Supply. “What decision could be worse than this decision? How can workers’ rights and welfare be supervised by the minister responsible for businessmen?” He asked.

It would have been more useful to abolish the Industry Ministry,  which suffers from a contradiction in its roles between industry, trade, and supply. It would be more useful to create a Ministry of Industry and Energy, and to transfer the Ministry of Supply to Agriculture, and to make the Ministry of Commerce into an independent ministry, Anani said.

He also attacked the proposal to hand over the responsibility of issuing work permits to the Ministry of Interior. Work permits should remain confined to the needs of the country. The issuing of worker permits will become a security issue only, and has nothing to do with the needs of the country and the various sectors of non-Jordanian labor, Anani wrote.

This is the tip of the iceberg, and the proposed administrative reform plan raises the fears of everyone, and their concern for their future, and the whole plan is a government decision that can be reversed by another government, Anani added.

“Please stop this joke and reconsider what you are about to do,” he concluded.

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