Public administration is a broad field with a wide ranging impact on almost all sectors of human activities. During my undergraduate studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Business, I majored in Finance, Investment and Banking owing to my interest in economics and finance. On acquiring knowledge and skills in this field, I realized that my true ambition was not about joining an investment bank or earning a high salary and bonuses, but about how my skills in business and finance would positively impact the human welfare, society and contribute to sustainable economic progress in my country and the world.
With this in mind, am strongly convinced that by pursuing a masters program at Cornell University in public finance, fiscal and financial policy area of public administration, I will be best placed to make my contribution in public administration. I believe an effective public administration is one whose financial segment is above board. For this to be achieved, skilled personnel who can formulate and manage sound finance policies are required. My sole desire is to acquire such knowledge and skills to enable me contribute in establishing of a stable and sustainable public fiscal policy to overcome emerging challenges facing institutions in this century. I also believe the research knowledge I will gain from the graduate school will help me fulfill my desire of doing major problem-solving researches in the fiscal policy area in future.
I want to see many things accomplished in my area of interest in public administration. The public finance, fiscal and financial policy area of public administration, is in dire need of transformation in all parts of the world. I feel that the challenges facing many nations and institutions in finance matters stem from the application of incompatible and outdated policies in an ever-changing public sector. The public administration has also been slowly drifting from its sole mandate of managing public affairs. The finance sector is the most affected of all sectors with widespread reports of embezzlement of public funds. The outright lack of accountability among public officials is hurting many economies. This problem can however be effectively addressed if sound policies are put in place to counter and seal the existing loopholes.
I sincerely wish to contribute towards achieving this goal through creating policies in consultation with other like-minded individuals that will see the public finance sector ran professionally to fulfill its role in public service as opposed to being a cash cow to benefit a few corrupt officials. Aggressive public awareness is another approach I feel if taken will help the public understand its role in ensuring public funds are managed in an accountable manner. The public needs to understand its power in holding those in office accountable and the right to ask for quality services since it is their tax being managed on their behalf. Governments need to streamline the public administration in particular by establishing sound financial systems and workable strategic plans with an aim to achieving set goals and providing all the services to the public in a satisfactory manner. Otherwise, the role of the government, as a custodian of public welfare and resources would be diluted and unrepresentative.
The widening gap between wealthy and poor, high unemployment rate and income inequality can be directly linked to poor public fiscal policies. Equitable distribution of public resources is an ever-deepening problem for all countries. This calls for collective effort between the government and the private sector to address such challenges. Harmonization of the government’s fiscal policy, which entails spending (public budgeting) and revenue collection (taxation) will help in formulation and setting of achievable targets for the public well being. While taxation has long been the best way to redistribute wealth and reduce inequality, public budgeting has in many countries failed to utilize the income for that purpose. Through monetary policy, government can for instance, lower the interest rates during recession to tackle high unemployment and cost of living and raise interest rates to discourage consumption during the inflation. Such efforts are however still frustrated by greedy public officials especially in the financial sector who take advantage of such situations for their own good.
My contribution in initiating, supporting and sustaining changes in this area so as to enhance public well-being and public service will entail using my knowledge and skills to assist whichever governments I work with perform a stronger role in regulating economic activities. This would require the government to formulate well informed fiscal and monetary policies to reduce income inequalities and stabilizing domestic economies. I would encourage the use of taxation, bonds, investment and state-owned enterprises accompanied by sound fiscal policies, to provide satisfactory public services and reduce unemployment rates. I would also focus on fiscal policies on areas such as exchange rate and interest rates to ensure sustainable economic progress.
I would seek avenues to bring various experts together or form think tanks that can provide financial education, problem and conflict solving strategies to governments. With unprecedented number of new problems and challenges in both developed and developing countries as seen in the recent sovereign debt crisis in Eurozone and its worldwide negative and long-lasting impact on stock markets, commodity price and trade, this should act as a wake up call for all governments to carry out reforms in budgeting and advocate for transparency in financial reporting to avoid scenarios as experienced in Greece. Particularly, this calls for worldwide economic experts and accountants to supervise and put pressure on governments on management of public finances. I feel that international economic and financial organizations should take on the responsibility of encouraging and supporting reforms in countries with budgetary challenges. As an expert in financial policies formulation and analysis, I will be at the forefront in helping the governments and the private sectors as well as non-profit and non-governmental organizations collaborate constructively in formulation of policies. This will be geared towards uplifting the welfare of the general public. Financial matters have for the longest time been an inhibitor in development in many nations due to mismanagement and irresponsible expenditure and inadequate systems of revenue collection. These loopholes that have existed for centuries will be my main area of interest and am strongly convinced through research I will be able to identify them and find the most appropriate mechanisms of sealing them. This in turn will for sure turn around the performance of the public sector and in particular help regain eroded confidence and trust from the members of the public. With good policies in place, accountability and sound finance management will be guaranteed.
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