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