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Posted on March 13th, 2013, by

Subject: Poor performance of public personnel and the risk of corruption

Recently, the city government announced the expected budget cuts, which are essential for saving public costs and maintenance of vitally important programs funded from the city’s budget. Obviously, this step is essential and motivated by the current unfavorable economic situation, but you should be aware of possible risks and threats that arise, if the decision to continue budget cuts is implemented. In fact, this decision is not just painful for the local community but it may undermine the normal performance of the local government and public personnel because budget cuts may provoke corruption and deterioration of performance of professionals working in the public sector.

On analyzing possible consequences of the decision to cut spending and conduct budget cuts, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that one of the most dangerous effects of this decision may be the emergence of the corruption in the local government and among the public personnel (Klingner, 2009). To put it more precisely, the emergence of the corruption is likely to occur in the environment, where the public personnel suffers from low wages and poor conditions of work and life. Budget cuts are likely to lead to the decrease of wages of the public personnel that will discourage public workers to work effectively and productively. In fact, wages and bonuses play an important part in the motivation of professionals working in the public sector.
The budget cuts are likely to decrease wages and bonuses for the public personnel. Naturally, in such a situation, the public personnel is likely to look for other sources of income to maintain the standards of living people have already accustomed to. However, being deprived of legal ways to maintain their earnings, professionals working in the public sector will become more inclined to corruption because the low wages and bonuses and the lack of financial resources for the maintenance of their standards of living will push them to illegal activities, including corruption. In fact, the corruption will occur because the public personnel will look for other options to earn money but their wages and bonuses. This will be a natural response of the public personnel to budget cuts.
In addition, it is important to take into consideration other effects of possible budget cuts. In fact, the budget cuts is likely to lead to job cuts because the cut of wages and bonuses may be not enough to complete further budget cuts (Klingner, 2009). Therefore, some professionals will lose their job that may aggravate the problem of the unemployment in the city. In such a situation, the budget cuts will lead to negative socioeconomic effects.

Moreover, budget cuts leading to job cuts may provoke the loss of highly-qualified professionals because they will be the first, who refuse from working in the public sector, if their wages and bonuses are too low to maintain the standards of living they have accustomed to (Holcombe, 2006). Therefore, well-qualified employees will either move to the private sector or just move to another city, where they can maintain their standards of living and earn higher wages.

At the same time, the budget cuts and the loss of well-qualified professionals is likely to lead to the consistent deterioration of the quality of services being provided for clients by the public personnel. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the problem of the inappropriate release of client names and social security numbers, which is likely to aggravate after budget cuts (Holcombe, 2006). Along with the drop of the qualification level of professionals working in the public sector, the problem of the lack of modern information technologies and telecommunication systems may arise that will increase the risk of the inappropriate release of client names and social security numbers. Modern technologies allow to automate the public personnel management, whereas the lack of financial resources will lead to the technological backwardness of the public personnel and its management.

Therefore, negative effects of budget cuts are obvious. Budget cuts are likely to aggravate socioeconomic situation in the city and undermine the public personnel management, whereas many professionals working in this sector will lose their job, whereas the rest of them will have low, if any, motivation. In such a situation, the community should come prepared to the rise of the corruption among the public personnel because unmotivated professionals, who receive low wages and bonuses, are more inclined to corruption than professionals, who have the high wages and work in normal conditions. Thus, I would highly recommend to refuse from budget cuts to preserve the public personnel from corruption and other problems mentioned above.


Holcombe, R. (2006). Public Sector Economics: The Role of Government in the American Economy. New York: Allyson and Beacon.
Klingner, D., E. (2009). Competing perspectives on public personnel administration, Civil Service, Patronage, and Privatization, p. 11-14. Public Human Resource Management: Problems and Prospects, Fifth Ed. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs: Longman.

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