Since the establishment of the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) at the Establishment Secretary’s Office, the Ministry of Mineral Resources has taken the lead in training staff members on basic Human Resource Management.
Speaking with the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Institutional Adviser on the essence of a high level institutional arrangement at the Mineral Resources Ministry, Ken Wright explained that the state of the Civil Service needs a complete review; with regards the way people are managed and how the capacity of the existing Ministries can be developed.
He averred that since the establishment of the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) the Ministry of Mineral Resources has taken the lead as it is “the first Ministry to set up a Human Resource Unit (HRU) within the Ministry.”
Wright, who came from the Centre for Management and Policy Research / Adam Smith International which is based in UK, maintained that the Ministry is the first to train its staff on what is being proposed for Civil Service Reform.
In this training, Wright said, “we have done two things; we have brought in Human Resource (HR) Point Officers and Superintendents. HR cannot work on it’s own without supporting line management as they both know exactly what their different roles and responsibilities are.”
Throwing light on the need for an institutional arrangement, he said “the Ministry of Mineral Resources is currently been seen as a Civil Service Administrative Ministry, when it should be an economic Ministry which focus on investment, revenues, value for money, new businesses and an enabling environment for businesses.”
The Institutional Adviser disclosed that Sierra Leone is ranked 160th out of 170 Countries in the World Bank “Doing Business” Survey; pointing out that “this is very low”.
He stressed that there is the need to start addressing issues with regards to investment, policy regulation, environment, community affairs and structures.
Ken Wright also revealed that actual technical management can not be done within the present civil service salaries, “we cannot recruit geologist, engineers etc. for the geological survey, considering the existing Civil Service salaries”.
He intimated that to increase the civil service salaries including terms and conditions for professionals, would distort the Civil Service structure, “therefore you have to setup a separate professional agency to address that…” he said.
He said that request for the training came a long time ago under the Establishment Secretary’s Office on Civil Service Reform, adding that the training is funded by Department For International Development (DFID).
By Ophaniel Gooding