By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
The business community has requested a Human Resource audit of the government to ensure greater public service efficiency, and the Auditor General has indicated her willingness to conduct such an audit.
President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Kay Menzies told The Reporter that the BCCI supports a complete HR audit of the public sector and would like to see results following the reports of such an audit.
Menzies said that the BCCI does not wish to encourage lay-offs or retrenchment, but she explained that it is imperative that the Belizean public gets the best value for their dollar.
The Auditor General Dorothy Bradley said that she would be more than willing to undertake such an audit.
Bradley said that while she had not been contacted by anyone as yet to discuss launching an HR audit of the government, if the business community, which makes up a great portion of Belize’s economy, were to request one, she would have to oblige.
Bradley asserted that her office doesn’t take instructions from anyone and her office wouldn’t need to get authorization from any government official to perform such an audit.
“I will definitely look at this issue and look into how we can undertake an audit of this nature,” Bradley told The Reporter.
She explained that performing the audit would not be difficult but the main challenges to her and her office would be the issues that have continuously plagued the Office of the Auditor General.
Among those challenges is the fact of her office being understaffed and under-resourced.
She added that her office would require greater technical support to perform the audit.
Bradley estimated that once she had the resources to conduct the audit, it would take between four to five months to be completed.
Menzies, referring back to Senator Mark Lizarraga’s presentation to the Senate last month, agreed that conducting a comprehensive audit of the public service would weed out those employees who were appointed by political favour and ensure that qualified persons are appointed based on merit.
Menzies added that it is time for Belize to get back to providing stellar public services and provide them efficiently and effectively.
At the last Senate meeting, Lizarraga representing the business community stated: “We call for a complete Human Resource audit of the public service.”
Lizarraga stated that according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ministry of Finance, Belize spends probably more than any country or region in the world as a percentage of GDP, as a percentage of expenditure, and as a percentage of income, on its employees.