Governments of developing countries are generally the largest supplier of services. The most frequent charges against such governments are mismanagement of the services and corruption. In this article we shall attempt to conceptually design a model of governance for developing countries that addresses both corruption and mismanagement.
There are two principal components to management. First, the persons being managed must be technically competent. Second, these competent resources must be managed economically and effectively.
To address the first component, the civil service’s entry qualifications should be among the highest in the country. For senior posts, no less than 20 years experience and a Chartered fellow or equivalent of an internationally recognised professional association. For junior posts, no less than 10 years relevant experience and a Chartered Member or equivalent of an internationally recognised professional association. Their remuneration should be commensurate with their qualifications.
The civil service should set, regulate and enforce standards of goods and services and establish corrective measures as necessary. This should ensure that all goods and services within the developing country are of a high standard.
Given the limited number of technical personnel that may be available, all proposals, plans, studies, and papers for national projects should be made available for public scrutiny. This should result in significant improvements to the projects. Developing countries are littered with unsuitable high maintenance capital works projects that unnecessarily contribute to their debt burden.
To address the second component, every Government Department and statutory corporation should be certified to the ISO 9001 quality management standard. Permanent Secretaries and Statuary Boards should be evaluated based on their leadership in maintaining the ISO certification.
With an efficient and effective civil service, the elected representatives can have the time to properly govern. It should be noted that in Singapore, approximately 50 Government agencies are ISO certified including the Immigration Department, the Supreme Court, and the Airport.
Internal Revenue Audits
To address allegations of corruption, all politicians should be audited annually by the Inland Revenue Department while in office and upon retirement. Senior civil servants should be audited a maximum of once every 5 years and upon retirement. All income that is not declared or accounted for must be forfeited and the file turned over to the Director of Public Prosecutions where necessary. All persons who are convicted of receiving bribes should forfeit their pension.