27 Jul 2015

'Bloated' public sector a strain on Cooks' economy

2:04 pm on 27 July 2015

A 'bloated' government workforce is a cause for warning on the Cook Islands' economy.

A three-person private sector team charged with reviewing the Cook Islands Public Service is preparing to submit to Cabinet its recommendations after completing wide-ranging consultations.

1,900 people are employed in the public sector and although some say there's a risk of the 1996 crisis that prompted 4,000 people to leave the Cook Islands, the Office of the Public Service Commissioner says a recent Asian Development Bank review does not spell the same fate.

The public sector was cut in half that year, following an ADB review.

The review team reportedly believes major changes must be introduced gradually over a ten year period.