In a bid to ensure there is strong and efficient governance in the country, the European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, under the 11th EDF, will be expending the sum of 27.5 million Euros to three governance sectors in the country. Meanwhile, the Human Resource Management Office and the Public Service Commission has been supported with the sum of 2.5 million Euros for its reform. The project started a year ago by a team of expert from the European Union, and the said meeting was to showcase the work done so far since the onset of the project. The project which started in October in 2018 is expected to last for a period of four years. The disclosure was made at the inaugural meeting held at the National Authorizing Office (NAO), on Tower Hill in Freetown, on Thursday 28th November 2019. The rationale behind the meeting was for stakeholders and beneficiaries to get update on the work done so far. These sectors include: the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO), and The public Service Commission, (PSC). Whiles the beneficiaries are: The National Electoral Commission (NEC), The Sierra Leone Parliament, and the Civil and Public Service Commission (PSC). The key objectives of the project include: to support Sierra Leone’s Parliament to be more effective in its activities, to support the electoral cycle and consolidation of electoral domestic reform, and to capacitate the civil service, and help improve human and financial resources of the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO), and the Public Service Commission (PSC).
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European Union Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Tom Vens, said, the reform of the National Electoral Commission is not only to aid the electoral process, but also making up the future, and articulating government mediations. He revealed that by next year, the EU will be having a follow up mission, for there are going to be a team of observers that will around in respect of the project. He noted that there was every need for civil service reform, and the strengthening of public service delivery, for His Excellency has also articulated that as being key in the new direction. He also stressed the need for the review of the Civil Service Code. He also disclosed that the EU will support the legal reform of the Public Service Commission. “Coordination of these governance sectors will be very crucial to the growth in these sectors,” he said. Highlighting some of the key problems faced by the Commission that will be addressed, Director General, Public Service Commission, Ansu S. Tucker, said, there has been a conflicting arrangements for Human Resource Management of the Public Service Management. Tucker revealed that there are over 50 MDAs across the country, and these MDAs have been given mandate to recruit staffs, which he said is in conflict with the Public Service Act of 1982. He also stressed the need for the review of the Commission’s Code, Regulations, and Rules. He further disclosed that there are anomalies in the civil service with regards data. He said, there are some civil servant with fake date of birth, incorrect grade, etc. “HRMO requires support for staff verification and deletion of unverified staffs,” he said. He added that the Public Service Commission hasn’t got a proper record management infrastructure. Team leader, Program Management Unit, Orison Chaponda, revealed that his team will be working on a six month plan, which is geared towards working on electoral reforms in the National Electoral Commission so that they could see things moving, and to ensure that there is better coordination between National Electoral Commission (NEC), and the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA). We will also take part in the enactment of the Public Service Act, for which there are more consultations going on. We are hopeful that after the reforms, there will be improved governance system, and a growth in the socio economic system of the country. “If we have a better public service that will deliver well for its people, there will be savings, because there will be no duplication, and if we have better governance, the economic investment will become brighter, and more people can invest, and the government will have a little bit of relief on its budget. “These reforms will undoubtedly ensure that the Civil Service will become professional, and efficient, and will be better capacitated in its operations,” he opined. Minister of Economic Planning, Francis Kaikai, commend the EU for their continued support to the development agenda of the country. Kaikai said, the significance of the reforms of the Civil Service cannot be over-emphasized, for according to him, the country’s Civil Service is the bedrock for national development, and a key factor in achieving the medium national development plan. “The government largely depends on then Civil and Public to be able to deliver on the National Medium Development Plan,” he added. Clerk of Parliament, Paran Tarawallie, said, he strongly agrees with the proposed activities for the country’s Parliament. Tarawallie disclosed that Parliament remains committed to the dialogue, and depend on the European Union’s commitment to achieve all of its plans for his institution.
By Sulaiman Karim Sesay
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