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Public Sector Reform: Principles and Perspectives and A Comparative Overview of Public Sector Reform in the United States and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

By
Donald M. McCartney, M.P.A., MSc.Ed. (Hons.), B.A., T.C.

Dedication

This study is dedicated to all public servants of goodwill, who serve the public with pride, dignity, integrity, courtesy and are commitment to the support of the principles and perspectives of public sector reform.

Contents

Introduction
(4-5)

Traditional assumptions that underpin public sector reform (5-10)

Scope of this paper
(10-11)

The need for public sector reform
(11)

Politics and public sector reform
(12)

Factors which impact the speed and variation of public sector reform (12)

Political leadership and public sector reform
(13-15)

What is public sector reform?
(15-16)

What is government and why does it exist?
(16-18)

What does the public sector do?
(18-22)

Public sector reform in the United States
(22-32)

Public sector reform in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas (32-46)

General conclusion
(47-51)

Works cited
(52-54)

Appendix
(55)

Public Sector Reform: Principles and Perspectives and A Comparative Overview of Public Sector Reform in the United States and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Introduction
While this paper will not focus on an analysis of public sector reform, it will present principles and perspectives that impact upon public sector reform. This paper will also focus on a comparative overview of public service reform in the United States of America, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It should be noted that this paper will not attempt to analyze the efforts at public sector reform in these jurisdictions. In this paper, the terms public service, public sector, public servant, public employees, civil servants, and civil service will be used interchangeably. When considering public sector reform whether nationally or internationally, there are some salient factors that apply and must be taken into consideration. The public sector and its efforts at reform cannot be separated from governance. In this regard, governance can be seen as a scarce commodity (Peters 1996, 2001, 1). Examining governance from an historical perspective will reveal that governance has created a number of institutions within the public sector to “control” and “influence” the “societies” and “economies” for which they have been given the mandate to govern. It has been posited that governance as it exists today, may not be as it has been in the past. This view is due, in large measure, to external forces and institutions that have had an impact on government’s capacity to govern. Couple this with the fact that internally there has been an increase by the governed with respect to being controlled or directed by government. Even those large organizations within the private sector have joined in the rebellion. With the apparent shift of power, it has become necessary for governments (political leaders) to examine their effectiveness in shaping and influencing the lives of those whom they govern (Peters 1996, 2001, 1-4). The events of the 20th Century (and the 21st Century is shaping up in the same vein) has shown that it has become the norm to blame government and the public sector for all of the unsuccessful attempts at governance and providing the service that the citizenry demanded and continues to demand. It is against this backdrop that those who govern and those who promulgate the policies of government continue to search for better ways to govern. In so doing, the common wisdom postulates that efforts at public sector reform solves one set of problems only to create a new strain of problems that require new...
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