January 19, 2018 By Dusuba Koroma
Local Government Service Commission has over the weekend completed a familiarisation tour to all 19 councils across the country.
According to the newly appointed Chairman of the Commission, John Bosco Kuyateh, the tour will not only be limited to familiarizing with the core staff of the councils, but also to discuss way of improving the services of councils.
The commission was established in 2004 with the responsibility to providing regulatory, performance management and management functions to the ongoing decentralization program pursued by the government of Sierra Leone.
In pursuant to its mandate, the commission supports Local Councils with the view to establishing effective human resource development systems, regulates local councils, guides in the management of their human resources and develop guidelines in key areas of human resource management, which should be subjected to a number of reviews inclusive of consultations with local councils.
There has been a misconception among the populace that the Local Government Service Commission is dormant, thereby making the councils not to be functioning the way they ought to function. It’s on that note that the Chairman, prior to his approval by parliament, went through a lot of scrutiny and was charged with responsibility to make sure that the commission gets back to its feet as it was when it was first established.
During the conducted tour, Chief Administrators of the various councils complained about the improper recruitment and frequent transfer of staff by the then administration.
They also lamented late payment of salaries, coupled with political interference into the activities of councils especially in the areas of revenue generation.
They called on the Chairman to assist them in ameliorating their logistical constraints and the late disbursement of funds by the government to facilitate the effectiveness of the various councils.
For the Chief Administrator of Pujehun District Council, Edward Alpa, the visit of the Chairman could not be more timely than now because staff members were slowing losing confidence in the commission.
“Most staff don’t believe that there is a commission working for us, except with this visit that the chairman has revived that particular spirit in them. They now believe that the commission is actually there to seek their interest. The visit is timely and such should continue so that staff will have confidence in the commission and be able to rekindle their hope,” he said.
Speaking, Chairman of the Commission, John Bosco Kuyateh, underscored the importance of decentralisation implemented by government, adding that it was good for the country, if only the real intentions were being implemented.
“I have gone through the act and it actually my own bible because I go through it every day. But it as if it was prepared hurriedly because they had wanted this decentralisation to take effect at all cost in 2004,” he stated, adding that he has found out a lot of loopholes that needed to be addressed or be revisited.
“It was the responsibility of the Local Government Service Commission to recruit and hire staff but however, it was another agency responsible for the payment of their salaries, which is the Local Government Finance Department.”
According to him, the Local Government Finance Department was with the notion that the councils were over staff, adding that upon hearing that information, “I charged my Executive Secretary to prepare a spreadsheet of all staff of all the councils and we later found out that such was not the case.’’
He assured staff members of all councils that after this month, their salaries will now be paid promptly and in a more official manner.
Admonishing his core staff members, Chairman of the Commission assured them that all their constraints would be a thing of the past, adding that it would no longer be regarded as a one man show to decide on the functionality of the administrative work of the councils.