The Chairman and CEO of Agbar, Angel Simón, took part yesterday in an event organised by the Association for Management Progress (APD) at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona to provide ideas about problems in public administration and the changes that should be applied to achieve effective public sector management.
Angel Simón formed part of the round table organised by the APD as part of the symposium ‘Reforms and efficiency in the public sector. Towards a new model of relations with businesses and the public’. Agbar’s Chairman and CEO began his contribution by noting the differences between the public and private sectors with comparative data. Among other figures, he pointed out that, between 1991 and 2011, the population grew by 21%, while public sector employment grew by 112%.
Mr Simón called for government reform through a structure of institutions and powers that would reduce and simplify the number of government agencies and the conflicts over powers between the autonomous communities, the municipal councils and the concession holders.
He looked at Chile as an example where the public administration has a very limited role. In the Latin American country, regulation is also ‘clear and simple but tough’, as in the case of complete water cycle management, in which only one government agency is involved. By contrast he highlighted the fact that, in Spain, legal regulations are often changed and contracts and judicial decisions are often not complied with, which affects private companies.
To improve the public sector, Mr Simón suggested beginning a gradual move to a situation where private companies did not have to take on public debt but could instead concentrate on effective, low-cost management.
In the round table, Emilio Cuatrecasas, Chairman of the Mediterranean Zone of APD, and Álex Cruz, Chairman of Vueling, accompanied Angel Simón. The symposium was also attended by the Prime Minister of Catalonia, Artur Mas, and the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, among others.