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‘Jordan’s public sector largest worldwide in relative terms’

By Khetam Malkawi - Nov 26,2016 - Last updated at Nov 26,2016

AMMAN — The enormity of the public sector is one of the main reasons that affects the Jordan’s economic competitiveness, said a recent report.

The Economic and Social Council’s (ESC) “Jordan Competitiveness 2015”, issued recently, added that the size of the Kingdom’s public sector is the largest in the world given its ratio to population, in addition, the sector is inundated with red tape, low productivity and wasta (favouritism) that hinder the Kingdom’s competitiveness, authors said.

The ESC report highlighted the main challenges and obstacles that have an adverse impact on the Kingdom’s competitiveness in different sectors, including education, health tourism, water and infrastructure.

The public sector’s impact on competitiveness was one of these main causes for low productivity, the report said, urging measures to reform public service and ensure equal opportunity in appointments. 

Economic expert and analyst Zayan Zawaneh agreed with the outcomes of the report which calls for changes in the status quo to improve the public sector’s competitiveness.

Zawaneh said the establishment of the “independent commissions” that duplicate work of the concerned ministries is one of the reasons which affected the public sector’s performance.

He explained that instead of complementing each other and functioning in synergy, ministries and independent government agencies have been competing with each other, a behaviour that has negatively affected their performance and public decision making.

The expert cited the example of the so-called “unified investment window”, which was supposed to facilitate investment procedures, but did not work, which led to hindering significant incoming investments.

According to Zawaneh, the country’s public sector also lacks training, follow up and accurate evaluation of employees.

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