Management Research News Volume 14 Number 10 1991 19 Once the structural choices are made in line with Public Sector Industrial Relations in these proposals, not only will there be a reduction of gov the Netherlands: A Future Without ernmental organisation, but the government will deliver Civil Servants effectiveness and efficiency services based on a public- private partnership. W.S.P. Fortuyn, The Erasmus University, Rotterdam Decentralisation spreads over Europe. It started approxi mately a decennium ago with the election of Mrs Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister of Britain. She initiated a large number of privatisations and decentralisations of govern mental responsibilities given the enormous federal deficit and the poor condition of the British economy. At the same time, the end of the 70s, the beginning of the 80s, the Dutch faced similar problems: an excessively large governmental deficit, an increasing number of civil ser vants, high unemployment rates, an overstretched social security system and a somewhat unstable economy. By the mid 80s a worldwide economic boom ensued, during which the Dutch economy was growing at average rates of 2-3 percent a year, reducing the urge in the Nether lands to make structural choices. The system itself was not changed. Nowadays, the economic situation is less certain and despite efforts to reduce, for instance, the federal deficit and the number of civil servants, the problems remain the same. The governmental organisation continues to be rigid, civil servants have special rights given by law, get a special treatment in court, and are heavily protected against dismissal. These are rights that d o not exist to that extent in the private sector. It becomes clear that structural, probably painful choices cannot be turned aside if the present standards are to be maintained in Dutch Society. To start with, the governmental organisation should be reorganised to cope with the demands of the present Society: the inflex ible and huge governmental organisation including Min istries and executive services have to be trimmed to do only those jobs which can solely be done by the govern ment. Ministries should be transformed from large inflex ible bureaucracies into flexible strategic centres in which a limited number of highly educated civil servants are em ployed. Governmental-executing tasks which can be delegated to the private sector should be, on a contract basis or through privatisation and in order to improve the flexibility of the organisation; civil servants should be in the same legal position as employees in the private sec tor. The employment-consultations for civil servants should be decentralised and the management of govern mental organisations should get more managerial free dom with the introduction of a budget-system. To obtain a competitive position on the labour market, the civil ser vant should be equal to the workers in the private sector having the same rights and obligations.
Management Research News – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 1991