By Sir Lawrence A. Joseph
The question as to whether the contracting out of services by government would be deemed to be unconstitutional is a most important one. The question is especially relevant as very recently the government expressed its intention to contract out certain nursing services to an employment agency. Government concerned about not increasing the established public service staff which size has come in for serious criticisms over the years by reputable financial institutions for being too bloated. Additionally, government is extremely concerned that further increasing the established staff would jeopardize the government’s home-grown Structural Adjustment Programme which programme was arranged in sinc with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Government’s position is that if the employment agency approach is taken there would be no increase in the established public service staff as the agency would then have the responsibility of meeting its contractual obligations to approximately 80 nursing assistants who seem to be well qualified, ready and willing to work.