‘Strengthened Civil Service Reduces Poverty’, Sweden Embassy Official in Liberia Affirms
Monrovia – Sweden believes that a strengthened civil service has an important role in Liberia’s effort to reduce poverty; and allows for the smooth operations of the private sector, which are important for job creation, and consequently in the peace and state building of the country; that’s according to Elizabeth Harleman, head of development cooperation at the Swedish embassy in Liberia.
Ms. Harleman says her country is pleased that Liberia has developed a pay reform strategy through the civil service agency, and urges the Liberian government to continue its efforts directed at implementing the strategy.
The strategy has a vision to attract, retain and motivate competent employees to work to deliver high quality services to the public, in accordance with the principles of equity, transparency and competiveness.
For her part, Mrs. Patience Coleman-Beyan, director of the Civil Service Reform Directorate says, so far, seven ministries, agencies and commissions of the Liberia government were selected to form part of the pay reform strategies, which according to her, was based on their readiness for reform.
Moreover, the seven MACs makeup 75 percent of Liberia’s civil service.
“You can see that if we succeed, it’s a big jump for majority of the civil servants.”
“The lesson for all of us is that, let us try to embrace these reforms; they are designed to help us do our job better and to nurture an effective and efficient government that produces results for the betterment of society, madam Coleman-Beyan added.
“I want to congratulate the Civil Service Agency, Liberia Institute for Public Administration and Governance Commission for the commitment in implementing an important area of reform and to encourage you to continue with the next steps.”
“We are looking forward to follow the continued important implementation of the program, madam Coleman-Beyan noted.
They spoke over the weekend at the ministry of foreign affairs in Monrovia at the launch of the Disbursement Link Indicators (DLIs), a system set up by the World Bank to track the performance and rate government development program.
There are nine DLIs in the whole project. Each year, DLIs are achieved, the performing ministries get paid US$40,000 each and the government of Liberia through the ministry of finance and development planning gets 400,000.00 when 90 percent of the participating ministry performs.
The launch was attended by an array of government officials including vice president Joseph Nyumah Boakai, governance commission chairman, Dr. Amos Sawyer and director general of the civil service agency, Dr. Puchu Bernard.
The Swedish embassy head of development cooperation spoke on behalf of partners. According to her, Sweden is pleased to be a contributor along with other donors to the project which aim is important for a functioning and transparent government that improves pay management, performance and enhances merit based recruitment in the civil service.
“The main challenge being addressed by this project relates to the problem of poor alignment between skills and functions, and weak payroll control within the civil service of Liberia.
Liberia has recognized these challenges and have committed towards civil service reform.
Efforts by Liberia have directed to processes such as pay and grading, cleaning the payroll, mandates and function review and decentralization, Ms. Harleman pointed out.
Liberia has committed to improve opportunities for participation of female civil servants in decision making positions.
“Experience show that a country will not reach sustainable development if women are excluded, therefore, Sweden applauds Liberia for its commitment to strengthen gender equality in the civil Service and urges Liberia to increase actions directed as fulfilling the goal of greater proportion of female in senior positions in the civil service,” she added.