"YOU ARE THERE TO SERVE THE PUBLIC .YOU NEED TO TELL THE PUBLIC HOW YOU WILL SERVE THEM"-DR. ERNEST SURRUR.
At the Public Management Services Department(PMSD)-Office of the Chief of Staff workshop held at Njala University College Campus Conference Hall, Mokonday, Njala, Moyamba District, Southern Province, Sierra Leone; the Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service-(SCHOCS), Dr. Ernest Surrur revealed that he has decided to inculcate the habit or instill the culture of Annual Progress Report preparation in Permanent Secretaries and Head of Departments in MDAs. "If you are performing and preparing your report and at the end of the year you produce a report , you will be able to recall, what you have been doing. It is always good to keep record of how you are progressing, so that you will keep track of the right track. You will observe what did work , how it worked , what did not work, why it did not work and challenges", he says
The Cabinet Secretariat in carrying out its monitoring and evaluation activities in MDAs found out that there are some challenges such as most MDAs do not have Client Service Charters."These are the things that will really create great impacts. This is what we call the service delivery. This what we call client service orientation. You are there to serve the public. You need to tell the public how you will serve them: How do you intend to serve them? What services do you provide? What is expected from their own part? What is expected from you? How long does it takes? If there are any cost(s) involved, what will be the cost(s)? People will know what is expected from each MDA or from each individual that is performing those functions. This is lacking, a lot of MDAs do not have them but some have them. CABSEC has made sure that all MDAs provide Client Service Charters. To overcome some of the challenges we face, we have to move up and down the MDAs to target Officers in their offices, to monitor their performance and discuss performance targets after budget has been allocated. CABSEC will also assist to train them on budgeting and performance targeting ", the SCHOCS, Dr. Surrur said.
So far there has been progress in sincere service delivery and change in the public perception about the Civil Service; not like before when people do not know anything about the Civil Service. Inter-Agency collaboration, especially with the Human Resource Management Office-(HRMO) and State House is very good. There is also cooperation among the MDAs. The presence of CABSEC in MDAs relevant meetings/sessions underscores the level of cooperation that is taking place among MDAs. There is excellent mentoring and coaching from the Rapid Result Initiative-(RRI) of the Pay and Performance Coaching.
"If we do not enjoy a lot of cooperation from them, then there is really very little we can do. Because we are just task players . We are just leaders. If you are leading and you do not have a good following, there is no way you can make any headway", says Dr. Surrur.
The RRI calls for an on-going evaluation of MDAs every 100days. There are targets that are set and evaluation taking place to look at : What MDAs are suppose to achieve? What they are able to achieve? Why they are not able to achieve some targets? How to go about to make the way-forward?
By: Musa Conteh, Information Officer, CABSEC