By State House Communication Unit
President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Thursday August 4 signed the 2016 performance contracts with Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Local Councils, Tertiary Institutions and State Owned Enterprises at a ceremony organized at the Bank Complex in Kingtom by the Performance Management and Service Delivery (PMSD) Directorate in the Office of the Chief of Staff at State House.
“Performance contracting helps not only in planning, monitoring, self-assessment and improving the performance of the public service, but also promotes productivity, enhances resource mobilization, collaboration and coordination in view of the achievement of the overall national agenda,” President Koroma said during the signing ceremony. He noted that to improve public service delivery, “each public institution should be able to identify its needs, prepare its budget and show value for money in implementing its activities.”
The president recalled that before 2008, no government minister or public servant would think of being called upon to give account of his/her stewardship to civil society groups, his peers and the general public, adding that starting with just 22 MDAs, the government is now signing contracts with 95 public institutions in a bid to reengineering public service operations in meeting the growing demands of service delivery. He also pointed out that the public service is increasingly becoming conscious of building synergies and experience sharing.
While commending all participants for their continuous efforts, President Koroma noted that there has been a general improvement in the governance system and encouraged all to work very hard. “There would be reward for excellence and punitive actions for poor performance,” he revealed. He also stated that public institutions must align programmes to overall governance agenda as the ceremony is a further testimony to effective service delivery, transparency and public accountability.
Delivering a statement on the 2015 performance assessment, the State House Chief of Staff, Mr Saidu Conton Sesay said the assessment would help in the peer review process, analysis of quarterly annual report submitted, field visit observation, help institutions in their decision-making, promote accountability and transparency, strengthen the culture of effective service delivery among others. He furthered that the basis of the assessment looks at the actual tangible results, the extent to what was achieved and the time and cost involved in achieving what is in the contract.
According to Mr Conton Sesay, performance contracts cover 22 ministries, all 19 Local Councils, all 7 State-Owned Tertiary institutions and 44 State-Owned Enterprises, pointing out that in an effort to improve performance, the cluster approach which includes public administration, growth, social and human development sector, governance, justice and security, infrastructure and energy sectors were introduced.
Presenting the 2015 performance assessment, the Director of PMSD, Mr Abdul Rahman Sowa, explained that the tools and methodologies used in the assessment are the performance tracking table, project tracker, managerial indicator matrix, analysis of reports and peer review of MDAs, SOEs and councils. He noted that there has been a general improvement in actions and service delivery on the ground in acceptance of performance contracting as a management tool in planning, linking plans to budget, and report presentation styles, among a host of others.
According to Mr Sowa, the 2015 performance contract results follows the categorization grading model ranging from Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair to Poor as per criteria already described in the foregoing paragraph.
Bo District Council, Bombali District Council, Bo City Council, Freetown City Council, Kailahun District Council and Makeni City Council were all rated as Good.
The Ministries of Defence, Fisheries, Health & Sanitation, Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Energy, Trade & Industry, Justice and Attorney General, Internal Affairs, Information and Communication and Tourism and Cultural Affairs were all also rated as Good.
Furthermore, the following tertiary educational institutions were rated as Good: Eastern Polytechnic, Freetown Teachers College, University of Sierra Leone, Milton Margai College of Education & Technology and Port Loko Teachers College.
The SOEs (Commissions & Agencies) rated as Very Good are, the National Revenue Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, Sierra Leone Water Company, Corporate Affairs Commission, National Commission for Social Action and Sierra Leone Police, while the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority, Produce Marketing Company, Office of National Security, National Tourist Board and a host of others were rated as Good.