Public service reform can lift service delivery

Editorial

The public service is the engineroom of any country.
If it stops functioning, whatever plans any government has will never be achieved.
Regardless of what’s on the calendar, service to the public must be provided unhindered.
Public service had transformed over the past 41 years and it came with huge challenges.
It has departed from the traditions and practices of the public service that the executive government had been practising for many years.
The various plans launched, ideas clashed and clash in the manner in how service was to be delivered to the people.
All that done, the government came up with Vision 2050 and the medium-term development plan and so forth.
One aspect of the change which should be commended is the District Development Authority as part of the public service reform.
We commend the newly appointed Public Service Minister, Pomio MP Elias Kapavore, for the stand he has taken in terms of DDA.
He is no stranger to such reforms having transformed the Vanimo General Hospital and West Sepik Provincial Health Authority as chief executive officers prior to entering politics in 2015.
He knows what’s required of making the DDA and admits it’s a big challenge in getting the reforms done.
There’s so much complaining about the public service getting a lot of funds from government and not giving the results that are required.
“My first priority is to see a delegation of powers to district (District Development Authority) CEOs so that they can do things at district level where the bulk of the population is.
“At the moment, the devolution of powers lies with the provincial administrator, and we’ve got to review that so that greater powers are given to the CEOs.”
The Organic Law on provincial government and local level government has been amended for the Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee (JDSP and BPC) to be abolished and replaced with the District Development Authority, with the Act coming into effect in 2014.
The main policy objectives was to make service delivery local, accountable and accessible, strengthen project implementation and service delivery at the district level, make all public servants in the district responsible to the district administrator (who will be the CEO of the
authority) and convert the JDPBC into a legal entity that can sue and be sued and enter contracts.
The DDA does not replace the provincial government, which still serves an important coordination and oversight role.
The authority must cooperate with the provincial government and cannot perform its functions inconsistently with any provincial plans and the service delivery powers and functions of the authority are determined by the minister in consultation with the authority and PEC.
And it is only fair that those are entrusted to be serving the people through the various roles must do so professionally.
It does not matter who is in government, the main thing is that the public service must be resolute in its own stand and that is service must be delivered.

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