With support from the European Union under the Governance Sector in Sierra Leone to transform country’s public service sector, stakeholders have gone through with the final validation of the draft Public Service Policy.
The validation exercise of this draft policy is a milestone in the transformative process of Sierra Leone’s public service sector. Once this draft policy is approved by cabinet, this policy document will lay the foundation for the enactment of the first-ever Public Service Act for Sierra Leone with an overarching objective of streamlining and harmonizing the overall governance of the Public Services’ and Human Resource Management through a robust and effective regulatory framework.
The consultative process to transform the public service started this year followed by several workshops organized by the Public Service Commission to incorporate inputs from its key stakeholders in the provinces, with the aim of addressing critical challenges facing the sector.
During the final validation ceremony, Secretary to the President, Saidu Samura explained that the Public Service in Sierra Leone has witnessed an extensive evolution since the end of the civil conflict in 2002, which has left the Public Service Commission stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Saidu Samura further mentioned that the situation has led to some post-conflict institutions usurping the primary functions of the commission thereby rendering it ineffective in the performance of its mandate.
The Head of EU Delegation to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Tom Vens pointed out that the goal of public service reform is to ensure improved service delivery to the people. He said if the public sector being government’s huge expenditure budget line is operating efficiently and effectively, this will result in better public services to all the citizens.
Tom Vens said that is why governments are voted into power to improve the quality of life for its citizens. He said the draft policy embraces the nexus between public service, decentralization and local government coordination, emphasizing that collaboration between the two sectors will accelerate development in Sierra Leone.
Ambassador Vens further remarked that the EU is proud to associate with both public sectors, by supporting local councils through the governance sector programme.
He reaffirmed EU’s support towards the Government of Sierra Leone’s New Direction agenda as well as the Medium-term National development Plan (MTNDP) in relation to public service reforms.Secretary to Cabinet and Head of Public Service, John Sumaila appreciated EU’s support in transforming the Public Sector in Sierra Leone.
Tom Vens emphasized the importance government places on the Public Service as an engine for development. He ended up by imploring all stakeholders to use the feedbacks captured in the policy to complete the process.
Chairman of the Public Service Commission, K. O. Bah emphasized that- “service delivery requires strong institutions and qualified personnel”.