Delegation of the European Union to Sierra Leone

Statement by EU Ambassador Tom Vens on the Consultative process of the Public Service Legislative Review

Freetown, 24/11/2020 - 16:49, UNIQUE ID: 201124_20
Speeches of the Ambassador

STATEMENT BY
H.E. TOM VENS, AMBASSADOR OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TO SIERRA LEONE

on the occasion of the CONSULTATION & VALIDATION OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE LEGISLATIVE REVIEW

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

I am delighted to join you on behalf of the European Union.

Today marks an important day as we come to the close of the consultative process on the public service legislative review.

Today’s event marks the culmination of an important legal review process which has been spearheaded by the Public Service Commission (with support from the European Union) since 2016.

Honourable Chair and Commissioners of the PSC,

I wish to recognise the critical role you play in driving this important reform agenda, your mandate as the highest authority in charge of HR management across the Public Service is enshrined in the Constitution.

Honourable Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service,

I am happy to see all the duty bearers who have important responsibilities in the HR management across the Public Service present here to support this process.

It takes strong leadership and commitment to effectively engage into Public and civil service reforms.

Sierra Leone is facing critical challenges and the gloomy perspectives brought by the COVID-19 pandemics amplify vulnerabilities and need for resolute action.

But Sierra Leone is also blessed by strong leadership which has reinforced the political commitment towards strengthening and modernisation of the Public and Civil Service of Sierra Leone.

On multiple occasions H.E. President Maada Bio has referred to the reform of the civil and public service under the authority of the Public Service Commission (PSC) as one of the most critical priority of this Government.

Its relevance in view of harmonising and containing the wage bill and enhance government effectiveness cannot be over-emphasised.

Esteemed colleagues,

I am proud to be standing here to confirm our support towards the Government commitment to establish a modern, robust and efficient public service, with a view to ensure effective service delivery for the people of Sierra Leone.

Since 2015 the European Union has been investing considerable resources in support national authority’s efforts to strengthen Civil Service Management. We have contributed to the review and implementation of Human Resources Policies, Procedures, Systems and Methods; strengthening of for Personnel Record Management System; Civil Service Payroll clean up; adoption and implementation of Individual Performance Appraisal System (IPAS).

Tangible and important achievements have been realised under the direction of the Human Resources Management Office. I salute the effective leadership by Director General Ansu Tucker.

Additional support is provided to the Civil Service Training College to enhance the capacity of personnel.

Nevertheless, we all know, this is not enough.

To realise the “transformation of the Public Service” which has been preconized by H.E. the President to restore the professionalism and efficiency which the country needs a strong rationalisation effort is needed.

A strong rationalisation effort is needed to address the mandate-overlaps of a multiplicity of actors and the consequent inconsistencies in standards, processes and procedure in Human Resources management

A strong rationalisation effort is needed to establish oversight, regulatory and supervisory roles over the Public Services.

The enactment of a single Public Service Act appears to be a centrepiece in the arsenal of measures to streamline and clarify the institutional landscape within the management of the public services and harmonise standards and procedures relating to Public Personnel Management.

The Mid-term National Development Plan made a clear commitment towards it.

To be achieved by 2023 at the latest.

Honourable Chair of the PSC,

Honourable Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service,

Rest assured of our unfettered support towards the enactment of the Public Service Act. I reaffirm the European Union commitment towards supporting the next steps of the process, namely:

  1. The drafting of a Public Service Policy for Sierra Leone to provide general policy guidance to the management of human resources in the public service, and strengthen the constitutional functions of the Public Service Commission.
  2. Robust participatory consultations to clarify the institutional relationships between PSC and the public agencies/ commissions responsible for HR Management to address mandate-overlaps with the PSC through Acts of Parliament.
  3. The drafting of the Public Service Bill’ for enactment

and - once Public Service Act is enacted and notified - the we stand ready to support its dissemination and implementation across public/civil service, as well as the review of the Civil Code and the formulation of the Public Service Regulations, new HR policies, guidelines and templates in line with the new Act.

In doing so we hope to contribute towards the transformation of the Public and Civil Service of Sierra Leone into a performant service that can ensure accountability and fairness, that can attract and retain skilled, competent and qualified personnel that is capable of delivering the quality and efficient public services that the people of Sierra Leone deserve.

 

In closing I wish you all a successful event.

Thank you

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