The Difficulty of Protecting Merit in a Plural Society:The Case of Trinidad and Tobago
AbstractThis article examines problems encountered in introducing and sustaining the merit principle in the public sector of an ex-colonial country. It offers a historical overview of the Public Service Commission, which was introduced as early as 1950 to protect public employees from undue political interference. The article contends that a number of problems have persisted, particularly in areas of recruitment, selection, promotions, and transfers. The article also suggests that the merit principle has been compromised further with the general loosening of vital controls that accompanied the introduction of new public management during the 1990s. It appears that the merit principle may experience a further decline with the advent of new public management.