President Ernest Bai Koroma has reiterated his commitment and determination to transform Sierra Leone through his ‘Agenda for Change’ programmes with the assurance that relationship between Ministers and Civil Servants will not slow down his transformation drive. He was speaking yesterday at the official opening of the Forum of Ministers and Permanent Secretaries on ‘Strengthening Political Administrative Relations’ launching of the Management and Functional Review of the Public Service Commission at the Miatta Conference hall.
He said in so far his commitment to transforming the country is concerned; he was prepared to partner with organizations and his ministries to overcome challenges. President Koroma described the forum as “a foundation for a mutually supportive engagement between Ministers of Government and Senior Civil Servants.” He thanked the Commonwealth Secretariat and sister Commonwealth countries for their continuous interest manifested in Sierra Leone over the years.
“My government welcomes the initiative to strengthen governance as a prerequisite to poverty alleviation and sustainable development,” he noted.
President Koroma informed that when his government turned the aspiration of the people into the ‘Agenda for Change’ he said he had the conviction that the targets they had set required collective synergy between politicians and policy implementers.
“When my government firmed up the aspirations of our people into the Agenda for Change, I had the conviction then, as I still hold today, that the development of the targets we set for ourselves required a rewarding synergy between ourselves as politicians and the implementing arm of Government, namely the Public Service,” he noted, adding that political leadership and administrative support should be complementary to each other as in his words “Without political leadership, the work of civil servants would be severely constrained by lack of democratic legitimacy; the design and implementation of state policies would be devoid of sense of urgency; rather than reflecting the aspirations of the people.” He however indicated that in the circumstance that such a relationship exists in a country, the end-result will be, “the administration risks becoming self-serving and bogged down in unaccountable procedures.”
President Koroma indicated his awareness of the lack of such a relationship between the Ministers and Civil Servants, noting that this has resulted in the less optimal effective and efficient implementation of many programmes.
He said for that reason he had re-enforced the need for a strong partnership between ministers and civil servants in several instances. He called on his ministers and civil servants to make full participation in the forum to enhance effective partnership between policy-makers and public servants towards meeting the aspirations of the people.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.