August 17, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development yesterday urged Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to embrace discipline in the use of resources allocated to them.
Dr. Kaifala Marah was delivering the keynote address at the Miatta Conference Hall in Freetown during the opening of a stakeholders workshop to validate the ministry’s draft Client Service Charter.
He stated that it was the ministry’s expectation that their clients, particularly MDAs, would be prudent in their financial management instead of inundating them with frequent requests for extra budgetary expenditures, especially for overseas travelling.
According to Dr. Marah, MDAs should always take cognisance of the fact that the variance between what was projected and actually allocated to them is not a deliberate ploy by the finance ministry to stifle their activities.
“It is what is available in our coffers that we allocate. You cannot utilise what you don’t have. Therefore, I make bold to encourage you to be disciplined in the use of resources,” he said.
With regards the draft ‘Client Service Charter’, the finance minister described it as a social pact between service providers and receivers as it specifies standards for service delivery.
He continued that the draft document was meant to raise quality of service, secure better value and extend accountability.
He added that stakeholders have a right to expect MDAs to deliver quality service and also ensure that public officers are conscious about the quality of services they offer, which in itself enables systems to continuously re-engineer service processes.
“We will appreciate your participation in the process, so that at the end of the day we are able to produce a service charter that is time bound, relevant, accurate measurable and specific. This is the roadmap that will guide us on how best we can deliver the services you require from us,” he noted.
Dr. Marah concluded that when he took office as Finance Minister, it had dawned on him that tax payers have the right to know and to hold institutions and individual officers accountable for quality, timeliness and responsiveness of services rendered to them.
The purpose of the draft Client Service Charter is to improve awareness about the availability and quality of services offered by the Finance Ministry, provide opportunity to stakeholders to understand what the ministry commit themselves to doing, and how to seek a remedy on complaints and wrongs.