An inelegant tragedy. An Open Letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

  • 2009-07-16
My Dear Minister!

I wish to express to you my complete and utter dissatisfaction with the way in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia is handling the present economic crisis by indiscriminately retrenching some of its most valuable junior and potential senior staff, leaving in their place far less qualified and ineffective former division and department heads who, through no direct fault of their own, are not capable of effectively handling the learned micro-specifics of particular tasks but who, for this imposed incompetence, will continue to receive their now inappropriate former high levels of income 's albeit with the official cuts of 20 's 30 percent.  This is not cost effective.

Please explain, Dear Minister, to the citizens of this country 's whom you are presently privileged to represent internationally, why the Foreign Ministry of Latvia is pursuing a deliberate policy of implosion 's in which its youngest and most talented and with-most-future-potential are having their careers indiscriminately destroyed and cut off.  Please limit the 'diplomatese' in your response and offer the courtesy of an honest personal reply - On the Record!  And, a reply from you is required as an indicator of your ultimate accountability.

Don't you realize, Sir that the Ministry which you are presently privileged to lead is Latvia's most important ministry in terms of guaranteeing its future presence in the international community? Don't you know, Sir that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the only legal link that present-day Latvia has with the first Republic, without which your government would never have been able to revive itself. Are you pleased that its resources are being diluted?

Of course, you are also a politician. Wonderful! That makes you doubly accountable to the residents of Latvia, and doubly capable of taking evasive action. Do you care enough or is your current position just a stepping-stone to some other senior position within the government.

My Dear Minister, please take a moment out of your hectic schedule of events and pause to reflect on those people whom you are serving and for what purpose. Having observed you in action over the past 12 or so months I have generally been pleased by your aptitude, energy, resilience and ability to represent our national interests abroad. You know how to play the game. I am impressed.

I would now like to see you stand up for and fight a little for the very people and staff who have supported you in your mission. I would like to see some more rational thinking from your 'senior' staff who should have more power to make decisions and constructive changes through creative and honest thinking, without pressure from numbers on paper which seem to change every day, and with proper consideration of the Human Resource that is being destroyed.

Anybody can make budget and personnel cuts. That is so easy. It doesn't require a PhD in Buyology (sic) to understand how that can be done. It requires far greater intelligence to find solutions. There can be no such thing as a 'No Win Scenario' for the Foreign Ministry. Why doesn't your Ministry have a transparent zero-based budget process in place, a proven and indisputable budget process that is accountable? Build up from Zero 's don't cut down from some mystical and still undefined budget ceiling! Creative accountancy is dishonest.

Dear Minister, I also expect you to intervene and to set the precedent for the reinstatement of your staff who have been unfairly dismissed. It is still possible to reverse the lethal and serious errors of judgment of your most senior staff.

If you can't defend the people of your own Ministry, what hope then for the international de-jure reputation of Latvia? It is heartwarming that your Ministerial home page often expresses your 'condolences' for foreign tragedies - earthquakes in Italy, demonstrations in Pakistan, etc. I would be saddened to read one day that you, Minister, have received messages of Condolence from your foreign counterparts on the decimation of your most valuable staff. What an inelegant tragedy that would be.
Edgars Kariks,


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