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Minister Amara Kallon Highlights Critical Role of Parliament in Public Sector Reform

In an interview with the press, the Minister of Public Administration and Political Affairs, Amara Kallon, delineated the role of the parliament in the process of reforming the public sector, acknowledging the transition in his Ministry as both interesting and challenging, emphasizing that it is a process and not an event to reform the public service.

Minister Kallon stated that the Ministry was not so prominent before now, but that has changed for the public administration of the country. He also noted that the transition has been slow but painstaking, and he feels humbled by the submission of MPs that there is a need for synergy between his ministry and the House of Parliament.

The Minister highlighted that public administration needs strong laws and policies, for which parliament is bestowed with the responsibility. He noted that the synergy of MPs is critical in delivering public service reforms because most of the laws and policies are not attuned to existing trends. Therefore, the House of Parliament is central and critical in this period of transition.

Minister Kallon further added that his presence in parliament was to let MPs know that the ministry exists, for them to understand the volume of jobs they have and to know that they are central and integral in the whole process and for effective service delivery. He appealed for the assistance of MPs to enact laws for the revamping of the civil service.

The Minister acknowledged that public administration needs significant reforms citing the country's failure in not ever passing the MCC benchmark on governance effectiveness. He emphasized that in changing the narration on governance effectiveness, there is a need for synergy and teamwork. He also pointed out that the ministry provides political and technical leadership, and their institutions implement the process.

Minister Kallon outlined that there are numerous public service institutions, and if they do not do things right, they will not get the desired results. He said he would be meeting with agencies under his ministry to examine the performance contract between the president and his cabinet ministers, just signed, to ascertain the roles and input of everybody in the ministry in line with the Mid-Term National Development Plan.

Addressing the issue of depoliticizing the public service in Sierra Leone, Minister Kallon agreed that there is a need for reform. He emphasized that Sierra Leone is struggling to have a public service act that is lacking along the organizational structure of the public service. He also pointed out that there is no document that defines what is public service. The constitution of Sierra Leone Section 152 and 153 only talks about the powers of the public service commission, but it does not state who is under its authority, and this is what they are working on now. Further, he said that more needs to be done regarding competency framework for public servants.

Minister Kallon also said the introduction of the Ages and Compensation Commission would rebrand and revamp the public service to attract the best minds. However, he cautioned that the work at hand is not a day's job because there is a need for demystification of the system, and the need for people to understand why they must join the public service. The Minister concluded that reforming the public service takes coordinated effort, and that is what the ministry is going to be providing.


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