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Sierra Leone News: Ministries of Defense, Fisheries and Health and Sanitation rated highly

Pres. Koroma

Pres. Koroma

More than 350 people filled the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex in Kingtom yesterday to hear a presentation on how well dozens of government ministries, local councils, educational institutions and other bodies performed in their public service in 2015. President Koroma sat during the proceedings and toward the end explained why he introduced the practice of performance review for government bodies in 2008, and the need for both transparency and hard work going forward.
Ministries with a “good” rating included Defense, Fisheries and Health and Sanitation. Ministries with a “fair” rating included Land and Mineral Resources. And those with a “poor” rating included Labor, Political and Government Affairs, Sports, Youth, Water Resources.
After the announcement of these rankings, the room erupted into whispers. President Koroma’s Chief of Staff Mr. Saidu Conton Sesay reminded everyone that the rankings were based on a rigorous, evidence-based process, not just perception. Earlier he explained that the rankings were based primarily on three criteria: tangible results, what proportion of the plans were actually carried out, and how quickly the results were achieved.
“We think that this is a process that will help heads of institutions to know exactly what is happening in their various institutions,” he said.
Dr Ernest Surrur, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of Civil Service said this was a time to reflect on both the achievements and challenges facing government bodies in 2015. He acknowledged that having to meet public demand is difficult.
Of the rankings, he said, “It is not only about rating but also raising the performance.”
Educational institutions improved their performance in 2015 compared to previous years, Sesay noted. Schools with a “good” ranking included Eastern Polytechnic, Freetown Teachers College, Milton Margai Teacher’s College, Port Loko Teacher’s College and the University of Sierra Leone. Those with a “fair” ranking included Njala University and Northern Polytechnic. Notably, no educational institution received a “poor” ranking in 2015.
State agencies were scored as “very good,” “good,” “fair” or “poor.” “Very good” included the National Revenue Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, Sierra Leone Water Company, National Commission for Social Action, Corporate Affairs Commission and the Sierra Leone Police Board.
“Good” agencies included the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority, the Produce Marketing Company, Office of National Security, Sierra Leone Housing Corporation, Tourist Board, National Mineral Agency, EGTC, SLRA, National Aid Secretariat, NRS, Road Maintenance Fund, Sierratel, SLIPA, Statistics Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Insurance Commission.
The best performing local councils included Bo and Kailahun district councils. Pujehan District Council was among those ranked as “fair.” “Poor” local councils included Kono and Kenema district and City Council.
After the results were announced, President Koroma spoke, seated in front of a sea of green, white and blue cloth drapery.
Koroma explained his goals behind instituting the ranking system in 2008.
“I had in mind to build a culture of planning, of monitoring and of self-assessment,” he said. “I still strongly believe that members of the public, civil society and other stakeholders should be integral in the planning, monitoring and implementation of government policies, programs, reforms and internal processes.”
Performance review is intended to promote openness and accountability, Koroma said, which will improve public service and public institutions.
“Before 2008, no public servant imagined that every year they would be openly assessed. We have come a long way on this journey of openness in government and open accountability.”
By Chetanya Robinson
Friday August 05, 2016

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