Today, the public sector is facing the threat of deteriorating its performance and rising corruption provoked by the upcoming budget cuts. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that both issues are extremely important not only for the public sector but also for the life of the local community because the deterioration of the performance of public personnel and the rise of corruption are likely to provoke the consistent deterioration of public services being delivered to community members as well as the widening gap between public personnel, on the one hand, and community members, on the other. In such a situation, the city government should focus on the prevention of the aforementioned threats and minimization of the risk of the public personnel performance.
On analyzing the risk of the poor performance of the public personnel, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the deterioration of the performance can be provoked by the substantial budget cuts. In this regard, it is necessary to distinguish several factors that contribute to the deterioration of the public personnel performance. First, the public personnel will deteriorate its performance because a number of well-qualified professionals lose their jobs. Second, the public personnel performance will deteriorate its performance because professionals working in the public sector are uncertain in their future. Finally, the public personnel performance will deteriorate because professionals working in the public sector are unmotivated to work better. Hence, strategies to prevent the deterioration of the public personnel performance should focus on the three elements deteriorating the performance. Therefore, it is possible to suggest considering the possibility of selecting professionals for job cuts and explaining the strategy of job cuts to professionals. However, in such a context, raises a number of ethical issues, such as the problem of choice of employees to fire. For instance, it may be unethical to fire an experienced employee, who worked hard, just because of the job cuts, while a newcomer remains.
Therefore, the city government should elaborate clear criteria for cutting jobs to maintain the high performance of employees, including their experience, their qualification and professional level, their potential, and their contribution to the organizational performance at the moment. In such a way, the city government will provide employees with clear and fair criteria on the ground of which the job cuts policy will be implemented. Hence, employees, who fail to match the criteria, can be certain in their future in the public sector, whereas job and budget cuts will not affect their earnings because the job cuts will lead to saving costs and, therefore, public personnel will not suffer from salary cuts. This strategy prevents both legal and ethical issues from arising because criteria are fair and employees can be certain in their future.
As for the problem of possible increase of corruption, it is possible to suggest several strategies. First, corruption can be prevented through the increase of auditing and monitoring within the public sector. However, this strategy raises the problem of the growing control and pressure on employees from the part of auditors and managers. In addition, auditing may also increase the risk of corruption from the part of auditors as well. Second, the city government can conduct regular tests, including the use of a polygraph test. However, this strategy raises the ethical problem of possible access to the private information and issues of professionals working in the public sector. Also, it is possible to motivate the mutual control of professionals working in the public sector through supervision and informing the security department of possible cases of corruption within the public sector. However, this strategy also raises the issue of interference in privacy of employees and excessive control over their work. In such a situation, the most plausible solution is the development of close interaction between community members and the city government. What is meant here is the fact that the city government should maintain the security department or cooperate with the police, whereas community members should have an opportunity to inform the city government and police of any case of corruption. For instance, if an employee working in the public sector manifests any corruptive actions, a community member can inform the city government or police of this case, whereas the city government and police should monitor and audit the work of the suspected employee and, if corruptive actions are supported by evidence, the city government and police should take respective legal action.
Thus, the problem of the poor performance of the public personnel and corruption can be solved through the high level of transparency of the public sector and close cooperation between the city government, law enforcement agencies and community members.
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