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The Future of Public Sector HRM in Mauritius from an Accountability Perspective

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DOI: 10.4236/jss.2014.23011    6,080 Downloads   7,777 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The collective vision of sustainable human development, as expressed by the international community in the UN Millennium Declaration, is a challenge for countries that are not adequately equipped to face the challenges of globalization. A key step in the right direction is the institutionalization of a transparent and accountable public sector that would be truly responsive to a country’s need. As in other parts of the world, Mauritius has embarked on reform programs in response to new opportunities brought about by globalization and the “rise” of Africa. Although public sector reform has appeared on the agenda of successive governments since early 1990s, many critics feel that the progress could have been faster and more substantial. In particular, the traditional omnipresent state has been much criticized for keeping bureaucratic red tape and inefficiency, and generally a poor level of accountability with respect to its obligations. Thus, in order to fully capitalize on the spreading trend of globalization and the immense opportunities offered by the “rise” of Africa, it becomes necessary to look into the reforms to the Public Services as far as human resource management is concerned. This paper lays down the state of affairs in this area and proposes an analysis of the pertinence and efficacy of such reforms from an accountability perspective. Many positive results are noted amongst those ministries that have implemented the Performance Management System, but many other findings are also problematic, such as: 1) Lack of clarity on how PLM is promoting organizational goals; 2) Many staffs unconvince that PMS will help improve their career prospects; 3) Few public sector organizations are able to use the PMS as a basis for staff training plans or for promotion decisions; 4) The appraisal forms are cumbersome and unrealistic; 5) PMS seems to be missing the point of addressing real management challenges; 6) Poor senior management “focus” and commitment to PMS. These findings echo what already exists in many case study reports and literature reviews, wherein we find that performance management systems seem to fall foul of their lofty ideals. Nevertheless, the Mauritian Public Sector has implemented a Performance-Based Budgeting (PBB) system, as a driving force behind the emphasis on identifying goals and measures. This complements the PMS in pushing public sector departments and ministries in the direction of aligning their activities, including HRM, toward achieving strategic goals and measuring progress toward those goals. This can help clarify future direction, establish priorities, initiate program performance improvement, increase effectiveness and accountability, and help managers improve service delivery, decision-making and internal management. But from good intentions to real implementation, the gap is yet to be addressed. Political interference, budgetary constraints, top-down management and centralized recruitment and selection are definite barriers to an HRM Accountability System.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Ramgutty-Wong, A. (2014) The Future of Public Sector HRM in Mauritius from an Accountability Perspective. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 55-63. doi: 10.4236/jss.2014.23011.

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