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Sunday, July 3, 2022

EU supports gov’t to review civil service code

By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

The European Union in Sierra Leone has supported the governance sector of Sierra Leone to conduct a nationwide consultation on the review of the civil service code, regulations and rules.

The consultation was to outline the values and standards of behaviour that civil servants are expected to follow.

The engagement was held on 24th March, 2022, at the civil service building, State House Avenue in Freetown.

Osman S. Conteh who chaired the occasion, said the Sierra Leone Civil Service is one of the oldest institutions in state governance since the establishment of colonial rule.

He said the civil service code, regulations and rules were developed to replace the general orders which were in force since colonial days.

He said over a decade now, a bold step was taken by the leadership of the civil service to develop the code so as to respond to modern trends in public administration.

He added that the code has served the civil service in the day-to-day management of the affairs of the state, and that it should be reviewed after every five years.

He maintained that with the intervention of the EU under the civil service reform component with the Human Resource Management Office and the Public Service Commission, they were able to capture amongst the review, the civil service code, regulations and rules.

He said the consultation was to solicit the views of civil servants on the code and that it had been held in all the districts across the country where the relevant views of civil servants were captured.

He concluded that a lot of issues emerged over the years that needed civil servants’ input in translating them into concrete ideas for the betterment of the civil service, like gender, sexual harassment, provincial administration, and disability issue.

European Union Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Manuel Muller, said they were very happy to be part of the project of reviewing the civil service code.

“Today is not any other consultation but a final one before the civil service code can be modified, finally validated and submitted for approval by the cabinet,” he said.

He said it was within the above framework that the Government of Sierra Leone sought and received the support of the European Union (EU) to support civil service reforms, including support to staffing rationalization and institutional support to the key human resource management agencies in the public service, and that the HRMO was identified as a key beneficiary of the intervention.

He further stated that they supported the Government of Sierra Leone in actualizing it objective of right-sizing, rationalization and professionalization of the civil service, and in developing the necessary institutional capacity for attracting, retaining and motivating the required skills for policy formulation and implementation, and the efficient delivery of public services.

Director of National Authorising Office (NAO), Ambrose James, in his words said he has always stressed that the NAO was always more than prepared to support line Ministries and Agencies in achieving their objectives from EU funded projects, and the civil service reform.

He said the review was to update policies that put the institution at risk, adding that obsolete policies may be non-compliant with new laws and regulations.

He added that they will ensure policies are consistent and effective.

He said the government recognizes the need to rebuild civil and public service in order to realise its national development aspirations, because civil and public servants are the agents for delivering government programmes and activities.

In his address, Director General, Human Resource Management Office and imprest Administrator of EU MAPE, Ansu Samuel Tucker, said the review of the civil service code was a significant step in the national development agenda as articulated in Section 17 of the Medium Term Development Plan 2015/2023.

He said by 2023, public entities shall ensure that the civil service code is fully reviewed.

 He said the civil service refund was one of the EU governance support as the objective was to capacitate and improve human and financial resources of the civil service improved service delivery.

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