The Cook Islands Public Service Commissioner says although the public sector must become more efficient it's easier to define the problem than the solution.
The comment follows last week's economic summit, a gathering of members of the public, the business community and Cabinet Ministers to discuss initiatives to develop the economy.
The government's given an assurance that public servants won't be laid off in order to free up funds to pursue the more than one-hundred initiatives the summit produced.
The commissioner, Navy Epati, says some of the options being explored involve taking a more holistic view of the economy.
"And then identify areas which the government should invest in and then train people with the interest and the skills that may be able to be engaged in those areas and thereby free up some of the labour that's currently in the public service."
Navy Epati says a repeat of the situation in the late 90s when civil service redundancies sparked a population exodus must be avoided.