Reform and Harmonization: The Case of Liberia

Vallai Dorley

On a very serious note, salary harmonization is good but it should take into consideration analysis of ‘ALL JOBS’ in the public sector. This shouldn’t be only about  salaries;  there are some positions that are overlapping need to be harmonized also. For instance, if we have a unit at the Ministry of Transport called ‘ROAD, LAND and RAIL’ with a Director of ROAD, Director of LAND and Director of RAIL. We can harmonize by calling such Unit ‘Technical Infrastructure Unit’ with one Principal Director heading it. 

In the exercise of harmonization, the allotment of salaries and positions should constitute: Reform of ministries and agencies, job experience, education, and grade (level). You don’t expect a driver with a bachelor degree with more than 10 years of experience working in the office of the President to make the same salary of another driver who is an elementary dropout at Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. This is not harmonization at all! The incentive for education and experience should come with motivation which creates productivity and efficaciousness. 

In order to clinically implement a comprehensive harmonization,  the Governance Commission (GC) should review organograms of all government ministries and agencies thereby identifying positions that are similar in functions or that are ‘non-essential’. The Civil Service Agency (CSA)  should do the grading and classification of civil servants, ensure pay roll harmonization and biometric enrollment. LIPA as a capacity building entity, should train employees during and after the reform process. 

Going forward, I think we should institute Counter-Cyclical Policies in the short run ….This will enable GOL to take many different policy actions to help boom the private sector. From the fiscal side, we should increase government’s spending to strengthen the economy.. From the monetary column, interest rates should be cut to stimulate more spending… And from the social policy perspective, you can sustain employment to maintain incomes and spending; this will increase the purchasing power of employees with a positive spillover effect in reducing poverty. 

I hope one day one day, I will be listened to. I mean,  #OneFineDay! Who knows?

Vallai M Dorley is a Public Sector Economist with a concentration in Trade and Institutional Reform. He is a graduate of the African Methodist University (Hons),  with a bachelor in  Economics and graduate degree in Economic Policy Management from Peking University in China (Hons). He is currently undergoing another graduate degree in Development Policy with concentration in WTO Law at the Korean Development Institute (KDI). Back home   he teaches Microeconomics and Liberian Economic Development ( Survey of the Liberian Economy). He is a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow, a flagship program of President Barack Obama Young African Leaders.