TALKING POINTS FOR THE EU AMBASSADOR AT THE CONSULATATIVE PROCESS ON THE PUBLIC SERVICE POLICY
Venue: Civil Service Training College
Date: Thursday, 8th July 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Today is another important day as we meet here to review the Public Service Policy following other consultations that have taken place in the other regions. As this marks the last of the consultation on the draft Public Policy before it is presented to cabinet, I wish to reiterate the importance of the occasion. Today is not any other consultation, but a final one before the draft policy is reviewed finally and submitted to cabinet. Today marks the utmost consultation with the critical mass of stakeholders on public reform matters from the centre of seat of power, Freetown. I am encouraged by the representation which is indeed cross session and multi stakeholder. But more importantly, today marks a time for reflection on a critical promise that the current government made to the people of Sierra Leone and which has been promoted heavily in the midterm national development plan. The importance of the day cannot be over-emphasised then.
I am here today to reaffirm the European Union’s support towards the Government of Sierra Leone and reflecting on the NEW Direction agenda as well as Medium-term National development plan in relation to public service reforms. I am pleased to join the Secretary to Cabinet and the Head of Civil Service at this occasion, which is a culmination of a long process of consultations between the various players in this sector within the state and government machinery.
Allow me to remind ourselves the four reasons why we are here:
Reflections on the draft Public Service Policy
I have read the draft Public Service Policy and wish to offer the following comments and reflections:
The purpose of today’s event is to build up towards a robust public service legal infrastructure that brings harmony to the Human Resource management in this country. Hence, we look forward to the successfully planned implementation that enhances dialogue and engagement to move towards the enactment and implementation of the Public Service Act in this country within the shortest time. Without this Act, more challenges loom with an increased expenditure level for the wage bill that will leave too little for any meaningful development. We therefore still urge the PSC to lead from the front in this drive supported by all the stakeholders present here.
Allow me to close by reemphasising that this support will not bear fruit if there is no political will from the leadership of this country. I am encouraged that we do witness this political will in several ways including through the presence and participation of the highest office on civil service matters. Let me personally thank the Secretary to the Cabinet, who has been fully participating in these consultations and has ensured the prioritisation of the next steps. I am reliably informed that the Chief Minister is also personally following up on these developments with the aim of supporting the next processes. This is encouraging. Let us see this policy being adopted by cabinet soonest so that parliament can deliberate on it too.
I wish to call again on the PSC team that is driving these reforms to remain committed to the process and results. So far, good work has been done, though at times slowly on account of Covid-19. Let us all continue to work more closely in the planning to accelerate implementation and bring forward some of the results. That is the expected spirit. On our part, the EU will remain available to support all political and technical aspects that will assist this process to come to a fruitful end.
I am encouraged by the new way of doing business in the organisation of this event. I am informed that participants are on virtual conferencing as it is now a new norm. It is encouraging that the public service is already adopting measures to walk that talk to comply with Covid-19 prevention protocols. Let us all mask up, sanitise our hands and ensure social distancing today here and in our other places of work and stay.
Thank you for your attention.