By Amadu Femoh Sesay
Information Officer, Cabinet Secretariat
The Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, Dr. Ernest Sahid Alie Surrur has said that Civil Servants need to work faster than expected if they are to project the good image of the Service and change the perception of the populace that they are corrupt.
The Head of the Civil Service was over the weekend addressing senior officers of the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) and the Civil Service Training College during a three day workshop on ‘Change Management’ at the Yamasoko Hotel, Campbell Town in Waterloo.
Head of the Civil Service, Dr. Ernest S. A. Surrur addressing the participants
Dr. Surrur pointed out that the HRMO needs to improve on the development of synergies, inter-departmental and internal coordination and information sharing in Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) in order to reduce bureaucracy. He stressed that reducing bureaucracy in the service will make officers deliver timely, efficient and reliable service to the public. “…think of good ways of doing something not just business as usual. In many cases, it is not corruption, is just that some officers are not doing their work on time…” he observed. Dr. Surrur said Civil Servants must focus on results rather than concentrating on processes.
Dr. Surrur said the ‘Change Management’ workshop was very important and timely coming at a time when the results of MDAs, Councils, Commissions and tertiary institutions for 2013 have just been released.
The Head of the Civil Service said in the transformation process of the country, the Civil Service has a key role to play in ensuring the management of change. Dr. Surrur observed that Sierra Leone is at the threshold of change and unless this process was handled with care the expected change will be slow to meet the people.
He dilated that the process of change must be done through mutual respect and determination by all stakeholders including administrators, professionals, civil society, the media, private sector and the politicians. “…each participant must make effort to push its own end of the Agenda for Prosperity (A4P)…” he maintained.
Commenting on the update of the reform process, he said the reform processes are in line with the government’s intention to improve the lives of the people adding that HRMO needs to improve on the pace of the process. “…the reforms are in place but a lot more needs to be done…” he stated.
The Head of the Civil Service recommended that the HRMO and CSTC develop practical training modules with emphasis on-the-job training to develop the capacity of the lower cadre to improve efficiency and quality service delivery; revised the Code, Regulations and Rules document; improve on communication in and out of the Civil service; pay premium on performance management so that officers are promoted on merit; develop a terms and conditions of service for Civil Servants and public service laws; develop a compendium of competencies, skills and qualifications which could serve as a reference point even after retirement to enable government draw on the rich qualities of retirees and develop the capacity of the middle level for smooth succession.
The Secretary to the Cabinet disclosed that the Cabinet Secretariat is undergoing some reform processes which will assist the HRMO and MDAs with their work. Dr. Surrur advised that emphasis should be on implementation of simple innovative agenda that create impact for the Civil Service. He further advised against creating an island of efficiency at the HRMO but impact that runs across the service. He admonished them to work as a formidable and determined force to uphold the dignity of the Civil Service and push forward the interest of Sierra Leone.
The Director General of the Human Resource Management Office, Abdul Rashid Bayoh stated that the objective of the workshop was to have an opportunity to discuss the overall work scope of the HRMO and align them with the respective work plans of the various units. He said it was also an opportunity to discuss ways of improving the level of team work among staff through sharing experiences and how these can be used to build a stronger team and institution to improve on overall implementation, progress and performance.
The Director General said the Civil Service is in the process of developing the human capacity in order to promote effective, efficient, reliable and sustainable service delivery for enhanced socio-economic growth and wealth creation for the citizens.
He disclosed that the HRMO is focused on modernizing the Civil Service by creating a workforce that is responsive, effective and efficient.
Presentations were delivered by all the Directors of HRMO and the Principal of the Civil Service Training College on the Mandates, Achievements and Challenges of the various Directorates and the 2014 Work Plan of the two institutions.