By Khaled Almaeena
3 May 2015
The world of business and industry is changing rapidly and governments have to keep pace in order to be able to continue to play an important role in such matters.
For decades there has been a protracted battle between bureaucracy and the private sector, especially in developing countries and in the Middle East.
However, over the past few years there has come a realization that governments should focus more on governance and let economic and social development be the realm of the private sector.
This does not mean that there should be two parallel tracks. To be a well-developed and modern, sophisticated state, there has to be a strong and equal partnership between both the public and private sectors.
In this new and highly competitive world, development is needed and clear goals must be established and achieved in order to sustain growth.
To do that we need professional bureaucrats who can innovate. Government leaders should do away with paperwork and red tape and promote the culture of work ethics, transparency, honesty and adhering to international standards. This cannot be achieved by merely issuing flowery statements.
Ministers and those under them should foster a new government culture based on quality service to customers, in essence the public.
Why are they called public servants in other countries? Because they are there to serve the public. But in our society, some officials have lost sight of the correct track and have become negligent.
However, now accountability is the keyword and ministers and their senior officials should realize that the new government will not tolerate incompetency and inefficiency.
Saudi King Salman has made it crystal clear that he will not tolerate any shortcomings in services to citizens.
We have a new crown prince and deputy crown prince and both are young and energetic and should lead by example and be role models for all.
They carry a huge responsibility on their shoulders and are capable of dealing with all the challenges facing the nation.
They should be a yardstick for ministers in terms of dedication, humanity and hard work. There is no time to waste.
Khaled Almaeena is a veteran Saudi journalist, commentator, businessman and the editor-at-large of the Saudi Gazette. Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for over thirty years, including CEO of a PR firm, Saudi Television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and journalist. As a journalist, Almaeena has represented Saudi media at Arab summits in Baghdad, Morocco and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of four journalists to cover the historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia. He also traveled to China as part of this diplomatic mission. Almaeena's political and social columns appear regularly in Gulf News, Asharq al-Aswat, al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Times of Oman, Asian Age and The China Post. He can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena