Public Servants as Partners for Growth

Toward a Stronger, Leaner and More Equitable Workforce

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Public Servants as Partners for Growth:Toward a Stronger, Leaner and More Equitable Workforce compiles the main policy lessons of the work of the Public Employment and Management Network of the Public Governance Committee on reallocation of the public workforce, managing competencies, and fostering diversity. Its basic underpinning is that for the public service to make a contribution and underpin the economic recovery and growth it requires modernising its governance structures. Civil service systems are at public management’s core; hence they are central to governmental effectiveness. In the current context, countries need to ensure that the public workforce is motivated and committed to delivery, and produce change, despite the need for pay restraints and redundancies. Investments in the quality of people management, strategic workforce planning, competencies and diversity of the public workforce are critical to make it more competent, flexible and adaptable in order to have a competitive, innovative and inclusive public sector. Governments have to maintain and improve the capacity of the public service while at the same time producing savings. The key issue is seeing the public workforce as an asset and not as a cost.



Getting it right

restructuring the government workforce

At a time of limited financial and human resources, adjusting and reallocating the public service workforce have become policy priorities. Strategic workforce planning and management are crucial here, so that governments are not caught in a purely reactive mode and resort to taking more immediate cost reduction measures that are ultimately detrimental (budget cuts imposed in an undifferentiated way, job cuts, recruitment freezes). Possible paths for reform include shared services, outsourcing, creation of arm’s-length agencies, developing a more flexible HRM system, redeployment arrangements, strategic reviews, and movement of staff to sub-national levels of government. But the workforce implications of any public service reform need to be considered and planned for from the outset, if governments are to secure and build capacity, maintain trust and morale, ensure continuity while meeting changing public service needs, and improve efficiency, productivity and value for money.


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