The achievement of the national development plan as set out in the holistic Agenda for Change, requires an articulate synergy between the political leadership and the Administrative leadership of the country.
It has, however, been realized that a challenge exists in managing the much needed symbiotic relationship for the achievement of programme results. In addition, appointed ministers have brought diverse backgrounds to their individual portfolios, with little or no specialized skills or prior training in managing state affairs.
Moreover, the respective roles are not clearly defined such that conflicts arise between ministers and senior officials of the ministries, particularly with respect to role relations, resource allocation, procurement, general staff management and the like.
These conflicts, and sometimes the lack of fundamental knowledge-base, considerably impede service delivery within ministries. These challenges require deliberate as well as conscious efforts for Government to effectively function.
In a bid to address the above issues, the Government of Sierra Leone in collaboration with development partners has designed a new Public Sector Reform Programme that focuses, amongst other areas, on providing training to ministers and public servants as part of its capacity building initiative. Undoubtedly, improving the capacity of ministers will contribute to skills development, improve knowledge on policy issues, foster and enhance good role-relations between ministers and public servants. All of these will capacitate the ministers to provide the leadership and drive necessary to maximize productivity and consequently improve service delivery to the citizens.
It is in the light of the foregoing that the forum for Ministers and Permanent Secretaries was organized by the Public Sector Reform Unit in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat. I thank the Public Sector Reform Unit and all our stakeholders who have worked hard to make this workshop a resounding success.