Public Sector Reform Unit

Office of the President, 8 Wesley Street, Freetown

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PSRU Media Kit

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The Public Sector Reform Unit (“PSRU”) provides leadership, co-ordination and strategic guidance in the design, implementation and monitoring of all Public Sector Reform Programmes. Its vision is to create a lean performance-oriented, highly motivated, modern and efficient public service that delivers high quality services to the people of Sierra Leone in a timely and cost-effective manner, in support of National development.

Establishment - In 2008, H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma transformed the then Governance Reform Secretariat into the Public Sector Reform Unit to co-ordinate and provide leadership for public sector reforms.

Mandate

  • Identify reform needs and opportunities
  • Co-ordinate and the planning of high-priority reform programmes
  • Provide strategic advice to the President and GoSL on Public Sector Reform initiatives, policy and implementation issues.
  • Establish contacts with Development Partners with a view to ensuring that their professional inputs and financial resources are in line with the GoSL priorities established for public sector reform in Sierra Leone.

Reporting

  • The Director, PSRU reports directly to H.E the President.
  • Additional supervision is by the Steering Committee on Public Sector Reform (SCPSR), Chaired by the Secretary to the President. Members include, inter alia, the Cabinet Secretary & Head of the Civil Service, the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO), Office of the Chief of Staff (OCOS), Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED), the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)
  • PSRU is also a Member of the Steering Committee on Civil Service Reform (SCCSR), Chaired by Cabinet Secretary & Head of the Civil Service

    Partners

      - Government – primarily the HRMO, the PSC, the MOFED, OCOS, Cabinet Secretary/Head of the Civil Service, and MDAs - Development Partners – the World Bank, the European Union (EU), UNDP, African Development Bank (AfDB), Commonwealth Secretariat, Department for International Development (DFID) - the Records Management Improvement Programme (RMIP) - Non-State Actors/Civil Society

    THE PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM PROGRAMME

    The current Public Sector Reform Programme (2009-15) incorporates a Civil Service Reform framework. The PSRP is a collaborative effort, funded by GoSL and multiple Development Partners. The overall goal of the Programme is to improve public sector productivity and service delivery to all levels of society, consistent with the developmental priorities articulated in the Government’s Agenda for Prosperity (Pillar 7-Governance). The 8 Thematic interventions: The framework covers amongst others:

    • Strategic and Structural Alignment
    • Staff, Pay and Incentives
    • Improvements in Systems and Tools
    • Improvements in Service Delivery
    • Capacity Building
    • Gender and Anti Corruption
    • Attitudinal and Behavioural Change
    • Public Service Reform Co-ordination and Management

    Why the need for a Public Sector Reform Framework?

    • Lack of co-ordination in reform initiatives (both GoSL and Development Partners)
    • Supply/Donor-driven reform initiatives due to a lack of overall reform Framework and GoSL ownership / leadership
    • Low public sector productivity
    • Lack of capacity in the public service
    • Uncompetitive rewards, no effective performance management

    Benefits

    The Reform programme aims to realise the following benefits:

    • GoSL Ownership and Leadership - Public sector reform that is owned, implemented and managed by the government in an holistic manner
    • Effective Collaboration and Partnership - A focal point at which all Development Partners can respond with respect to the co-ordination, funding and management of Public Sector reforms. harmonised, standardised systems and processes in the public service
    • a lean, highly trained, motivated, performance-oriented citizen-focused public service
    • Transparency and accountibility - a transparent and accountable public service that delivers value for money and quality services on a timely and equitable basis
    • Harmonisation, standardisation and a more systematic approach to addressing the problems across the public service
    • Development and entrenchment of structures, systems and processes within the Civil and Public Service which respond to the vision and the aspirations of the people of Sierra Leone

    THE REFORM PATH

    The reform path is aimed at maximizing results by ensuring careful timing and logical sequencing of reform measures in a way that ensures efficiency and maximizes complementary impact. It is recognized, for instance, that for the Pay Reforms to be effective and sustainable, the next wave of pay adjustments must be preceded by both impact maximizing and cost saving measures. Therefore it is important that the next steps in the Pay Reforms follow a path that ensures an assessment of the labour market for public sector jobs is undertaken to form the basis of job evaluation and re-grading. This will form the foundation for an equitable, competitive pay regime.

    Enhancing the integrity of the payroll through (a) a transparent and fair pay determination and administration regime, and (b) payroll and personnel records clean-up, will not only further ensure fairness and equity in Pay Administration and Management, but also increase fiscal predictability, and, together with reductions in obsolete posts and redundancies, enhance productivity and efficiency while guaranteeing affordability and sustainability of the payroll.

    It is also important that the overall strategy for filling critical skills gaps be based on an evaluation of the labour market situation, be informed by the Management and Functional Reviews of the MDAs and the review of the establishment structures to reflect the functional requirements of a modern Public Service.

    Furthermore, to motivate Performance for Results, and complement Pay Reforms, the Performance Management reform framework is anchored on multi-level appraisal systems, accountability mechanisms and rewards and sanctions. The Reform Path takes due cognizance of existing institutional weaknesses in the key reform implementing agencies, and therefore emphasizes institutional capacity building for the PSC, HRMO and the line MDAs to provide them with the necessary structural and logistical capacities and skills for Recruitment, Selection and Performance Management.

    The Public Sector Reform Programme is anchored on the developmental priorities of Sierra Leone as articulated in the Agenda for Change (PRSP II), and is being accorded greater emphasis and higher priority in the forthcoming Agenda for Prosperity (PRSP III).

    CURRENT PROJECTS

    • The Sierra Leone Pay and Performance Project (PPP)
    • EU Support to Civil Service reform
    • Management & Functional Reviews
    • Political & Administrative Forums
    • Records Management Improvement Programme

    The Pay and Performance Project (P&PP), supported by the World Bank

    In June 2012 the GoSL and World Bank signed an agreement to implement the Pay and Performance Project (PPP) for Sierra Leone. The value of the project is US $17 million to finance the achievement of priority pay and performance reforms in the Civil Service which are needed to achieve the economic growth and poverty reduction goals of the country.

    Project Objective -The objective of the PPP is to improve competitiveness and internal equity in pay setting, thereby enabling the Civil Service to attract and retain qualified professionals. The project is designed to support three key reform initiatives within the Government’s overrarching Public sector programme, namely:

      (i) Pay Reform (ii) Recruitment and Staffing (iii) Performance Management

    Pay Reform

    The GoSL’s ‘‘Multi-Year Public Sector Pay Reform Strategy (2011-2015)’’ was approved by Cabinet in February 2011. It outlines a comprehensive approach to reforming public sector pay over the five (5) year period. The Strategy recognizes that remuneration should be commensurate with the responsibilities of the job, which necessitates the completion of a comprehensive Job Evaluation and grading exercise before enhanced pay is introduced in a new pay structure. A significant decompression of the pay structure is also needed in order to allow professionals and managers to be remunerated more competitively, while maintaining an affordable and sustainable public service wage bill in relation to GoSL‘s recurrent revenues. The Pay Reform will unify pay in Public Service by rectifying pay distortions, e.g., Civil Servants, Contract Officers, Teachers and other Public Servants by;

    • Developing a comprehensive pay structure for the Public Service including elected and political appointees
    • Mainstreaming essential Local Technical Assistants (LTAs) into Civil Service positions

    Overall Objective: To attract, motivate and retain competent human capacity in the Public Service Specific Objectives:

    • Provide competitive remuneration
    • Attract and retain quality staff
    • Ensure value for money

    Recruitment and Selection

    Over the years the Sierra Leone Civil Service has suffered a progressive depletion of skilled manpower in the Managerial and Professional grades. This situation was exacerbated by the 11 year Civil War and has continued to this day. A key problem is the so-called “missing middle.” In 2008, there were only 995 Civil Servants in mid-level Professional and Technical grades (grades 6-10) compared with 5,858 in 1993/94 at the beginning of the civil war. The GoSL has responded to this situation by recruiting Technical and Professional staff to critical vacancies in the “missing middle” through a rehabilitated Public Service Commission (PSC). Appointments are based on merit following a transparent and competitive process in which all vacancies are advertised and selection is based on interview and examination methods. As a result the number of Civil Servants in grades 6-10 has increased from 995 in 2008 to 1,559 in 2011, representing 11.4% of total Civil Service employment.

    Priority skills gaps are now filled through open, competitive and merit-based recruitment and promotions processes to build the capability of the Civil Service.

    Objective: to create a capable Civil Service of the right size and job composition to deliver its core functions assigned by government Specific Objectives:

    • Developing and approving the Recruitment Guidelines;
    • Prioritizing and filling vacancies in Grade 6 and above in accordance with the Annual Recruitment Plans;
    • Integrating LTAs in accordance with an approved Mainstreaming Policy and Action Plan.

    Performance Management

    In 2010, H.E the President decided to leverage government performance by demanding performance from Ministries rather than from individual Civil Servants. He now signs an Annual Performance Contract reflecting Policy Outcomes with each of his Ministers and, with the support of the Strategic Policy Unit, reviews their performance on a quarterly basis through Performance Tracking Tables.

    Because the performance of every Ministry is clearly dependent upon the performance of its managers, it was decided to cascade the contracting process to Permanent Secretaries (PS), Professional Heads and Directors. A pilot project was launched by the OCOS in mid-2011 for seven ministries (later extended due to MDAs split in the 2013 Cabinet reshuffle) and six Local Councils in which the performance of 67 senior officials were to be assessed.

    Under the PPP, the HRMO will introduce an open results-oriented Individual Performance Appraisal System (IPAS) for which policy principles have been established in the new Civil Service Regulations & Rules and which have their own Guidelines. The intention is to link individual and organizational performance by relating the agreed objectives and targets for individual civil servants to departmental objectives and policy outcomes Objective:

    • Improve the performance and productivity of MDAs and individual Civil Servants;
    • Increase Citizens’ trust and confidence in government;
    • Strengthen the accountability of MDAs to the citizens and the Executive.

    Benefits of Performance Management:

    • Assisting MDAs in formulating annual output-based Performance Targets and Work Plans for each department,
    • Establishing an information system to generate regular performance reports,
    • Carrying out annual performance reviews and taking corrective action to bring actual performance closer to targeted performance.
    • linking MDA’s performance with the performance of individual Civil Servants and strengthen the accountability of ministries to the executive and citizens

    Performance Management involves the following:

    • Designing and implementing an appropriate Performance Appraisal System
    • Designing and implementing a Performance Contract Management Process for managers;
    • Publishing the Performance Targets of all Ministries; and
    • Evaluating the overall performance of said Ministries together with relevant Non-State Actors.

    The EU support to Civil Service Reform

    In June 2011 the GOSL entered into an agreement with the EU for support to Civil Service Reform (valued at Euro 10 million). This Project includes support to staffing rationalization and institutional support to the key human resource management agencies in the public service. The HRMO is a key beneficiary of the intervention.

    Overall Objective: To support the GoSL in building a transparent, accountable, performance-oriented and disciplined Civil Service with the highest standard of professionalism, and the necessary capacity to efficiently and effectively deliver quality services for the improvement of poor people’s lives.

    Purpose: To support the Government of Sierra Leone in actualizing it objective of right-sizing, rationalization and professionalization of the Civil Service, and in developing the necessary institutional capacity for attracting, retaining and motivating the required skills for policy formulation and implementation, and the efficient delivery of public services. The Project seeks to address, inter alia, the following:

      (i) A mismatch between skills and function in the Civil Service which greatly hamper effective policy design and implementation for the efficient service delivery and poverty reduction; (ii) weaknesses in the human resource management structures and institutions of the civil service of Sierra Leone; (iii) low levels of integrity in the administration and management of the pay and compensation system of the public sector; (iv) low levels of morale and discipline in the public service due partly to weak institutional structures and partly to low pay and conditions of service; and (v) The need to further strengthen democracy and the rule of law by ensuring effective separation of powers through enhanced independence of the judiciary

    Project Components:

    • Component 1: Training and Staff Development: This component aims to augment the GoSL’s Competitive Recruitment, Pay Reforms and Performance Management efforts with an enhanced training and staff development programme.
    • Component 2: Institutional Support to Human Resource Management and Oversight Institutions: This is geared towards strengthening the recruitment, staff selection and discipline functions in the Civil Service
    • Component 3: Mainstreaming Anti-Corruption into the Civil Service Reforms:
    • Component 4: Right-Sizing the Civil Service: supporting the GoSL’s policy on the rationalization of staff numbers and removal of obsolete positions and redundant staff from the Government payroll by providing the resources required to meet the financial implications of implementing the policy
    • Component 5: Audit and External Evaluation and Visibility:

    Management & Functional Reviews (MFRs)

    Management and Functional Reviews are a productivity exercise aimed at improving the efficiency and service delivery mechanisms of the institutions under review. MFRs are one of the tools employed by the PSRU to engender reform in the Civil Service. MFRs assess, inter alia, structures, staffing capacity, co-ordination and relations between and within organisation, Records Management and communications to ensure that each MDA is able to meet its Mandate. Since 2002 PSRU has conducted MFRs of 23 Ministries (and several agencies), some of which have received Cabinet-approval for the Recommendations therein. Implementation – MDAs are tasked with taking ownership of the implementation process, with PSRU providing ongoing support and technical backstopping. the MFRs have not been well circulated within MDAs. Indeed many employees in Grades 6-10 (the “missing middle” of skilled personnel in the Civil Service) have never seen the MFRs for their MDAs. Quarterly monitoring of various MDA activities indicates that across the board, little has been achieved in terms of implementation. To date, less than 20% of MDAs have fully implemented MFR Recommendations. The exceptions are Ministries of Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation, and Defence who have successfully implemented most of the Recommendations. PSRU is re-doubling its efforts to work more closely with MDAs in order to assist them in improving the rate and quality of implementation of MFR Recommendations. It has assigned team members to focus on each MDA. In line also with new systems and procedures introduced with the establishment of the HRMO, there is also a critical need for the standardisation and modernisation of human resource systems, staffing, job profiles and Schemes of Services. Focus on facilitating implementation

    • PSRU/ACC Memorandum of Understanding - In April 2013 PSRU and ACC signed an MOU to increase inter-agency co-operation and sharing information
    • PSRU focal point - Each PSRU team member is the focal person for 5 MDAs. Between June and December 2013 PSRU will re-double its efforts to assist MDAs with implementation subject to a defined plan. The data will be collated to provide a clear picture of the status of implementation of the MFRs.
    • Local Councils – in April 2013 and with support from UNDP 4 Local Councils (Tonkolil DC, Moyamba District Council, Kenema District Council and Kenema Town Council) were reviewed and generic issues include inadequate capacity; poor financial management and revenue generation capacity.
    • Current MFRs - Ministry of Political & Public Affairs (MPPA) and Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR)

    Forums Strengthening the Political - Administrative Relationship in Central and Local Governments

    Following the successful programmes to strengthen the Political / Administrative relationships in the Central and Local Government held in 2011 by PSRU in collaboration with the Office of the Chief of Staff and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the PSRU will collaborate with the Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD) of the Commonwealth Secretariat in 2013 to continue it support to strengthen the Political /Administrative relationships of these two layers of government for role clarity, and to ensure that relationships are clearly defined and understood. Objective - To orientate Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Mayors, Chairmen and Chief Administrators to the priorities of government, so that they can understand the critical importance of their leadership role and effective political-administrative interface for the achievement of national development outcomes. Specific objectives:

    • Understand and agree on the priority national outcomes that the government of Sierra Leone is currently focusing on, including: strengthening commitment and teamwork among Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Mayors, Chairmen and Chief Administrators; the Agenda for Prosperity and the Public Sector Reform Programme.
    • Discuss and agree on the one hand on roles of Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Mayors, Chairmen and Chief Administrators and how they can work together effectively and how they can effectively work with other branches of the State and other stakeholders.
    • Discuss the leadership and negotiatiation skills and values that will be required to transform the country.

    Expected Outcome

    • Understanding the priority national outcomes that the GoSL seeks to achieve, and accountabilities clearly defined, understood and accepted;
    • Key leadership Values and Principles to guide Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Mayors, Chairmen and Chief Administrators in the conduct of their duties defined, understood and agreed upon;
    • Strategies for effectively engaging other stakeholders in the National Development Agenda defined.

    Key Partners

    The Public Service Commission (PSC)

    The Public Service Commission is mandated by Section 152 (1) Act no.6 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone to appoint persons to hold or act in offices in the public service, including the power to make appointments, promotions and to confirm appointments and to dismiss and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices. PSC delegates some of its authority to HRMO.

    Vision

    to be outstanding, effective and efficient in the execution of our constitutional mandate of merit-based recruitment and retention of the best skills into the public service and in the institution of the highest ethical and performance standard in the public service of Sierra Leone.

    Mission

    PSC’s mission is to provide leadership, supervision, oversight and guidance to development and management of the human resources of the public service to ensure effective and efficient service delivery to the people of Sierra Leone

    Core Values

    • Independence
    • Political Neutrality
    • Transparency
    • Accountability
    • Integrity
    • Responsiveness
    • Equal Opportunity

    Human Resources Management Office (HRMO)

    The HRMO is the central Human Resource agency of the Government of Sierra Leone charged with ensuring that the Civil Service always has adequate, competent, trained and motivated staff to carry out its functions, as delegated by PSC.

    Vision

    The HRMO to be a centre of excellence and expertise in HR management, developing high quality, relevant HR policies, and operating to high ethical standards.

    Mission

    To formulate and advise Government on Human Resource Policies; to manage and develop the Sierra Leone Civil Service for efficient and effective service delivery. Previously known as the Establishment Secretary’s Office (ESO), it was transformed into the HRMO with a wider, more strategic Mandate to respond to the needs of a growing Civil Service and a dynamic global environment. The HRMO was formally launched by H.E the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on 7th August, 2008.

    Objectives

    • To attract and retain critical skills in the middle and upper levels of the Civil Service;
    • To review organizational structures and job descriptions to meet the strategic objectives of MDAs;
    • To validate personnel records and establish an electronic Human Resource Information System (HRMIS);
    • To Right-Size the Civil Service to meet its strategic objectives;
    • To plan and forecast the Manpower requirements of the Civil Service;
    • To train and develop Civil Servants through formal courses, seminars, workshops, coaching and mentoring;
    • To introduce and cascade Performance Management in the Civil Service;
    • To design a new salary structure and pay that will attract and retain qualified and skilled personnel.

    Steering Committee on Public Sector Reform - The Steering Committee provides oversight for the PSRU

    • Providing overall guidance for the public sector reform programme
    • Monitoring the programme through reports submitted by the Director on progress, problems encountered and impact created
    • Outlining Reform Strategy and guidelines
    • Reviewing/approving operational plans and budget of the PSRU
    • Reviewing the Annual Public Sector Reform Programme Report

    Records Management Improvement Programme (RMIP)

    The Records Management Improvement Programme is mandated to enhance Records Management initiatives in MDAs where funding is sourced. The Programme was set up in 2005 to create records and rehabilitate specifically personnel records which may have fiduciary implications but most were destroyed during the war. The programme was part of the creation of HRMO and for implementing sound records management across the Public Service. The team has completed the following projects:

    • Teacher’s Records (2012/13)– As a significant first, created personnel files for teachers and linked the files To Payroll data at the Accountant General’s Department; conducted a Biometric Verification and precisely located schools through GPS technology; rehabilitating the Records office at the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology.
    • Ministry of Health & Sanitation (MoHS) 2010- Re-organised and strengthened records infrastructure for personnel and payroll records at MoHS, for sustaining payroll integrity as part of the Ministry’s Health Project and Attendance Improvement.
    • Civil Service personnel and Payroll Verification 2008 – this project captured accurate data on the Civil Service workforce, capacity levels and more importantly evidence for eventually right-sizing the Civil Service
    • HRMO - Restructured Records Management Systems at HRMO, digitising available Personnel Records into a Document Archive System.
    • Office of the President, State House - Revamped Records Management Systems at and trained records office staff.

    PARTNERS

    WORLD BANK

    The Pay and Performance Project (P&PP), supported by the World Bank

    In June 2012 the GoSL and World Bank signed an agreement to implement the Pay and Performance Project (PPP) for Sierra Leone. The value of the project is US $17 million to finance the achievement of priority pay and performance reforms in the Civil Service which are needed to achieve the economic growth and poverty reduction goals of the country.

    Project Objective -The objective of the PPP is to improve competitiveness and internal equity in pay setting, thereby enabling the Civil Service to attract and retain qualified professionals. The project is designed to support three key reform initiatives within the Government’s overrarching Public sector programme, namely: Pay Reform, Performance Management and Recruitment and Staffing.

    EUROPEAN UNION

    The EU support to Civil Service Reform

    In June 2011 the GOSL entered into an agreement with the EU for support to Civil Service Reform (valued at Euro 10 million). This Project includes support to staffing rationalization and institutional support to the key human resource management agencies in the public service. The HRMO is a key beneficiary of the intervention.

    Overall Objective: To support the GoSL in building a transparent, accountable, performance-oriented and disciplined Civil Service with the highest standard of professionalism, and the necessary capacity to efficiently and effectively deliver quality services for the improvement of poor people’s lives.

    Purpose: To support the Government of Sierra Leone in actualizing it objective of right-sizing, rationalization and professionalization of the Civil Service, and in developing the necessary institutional capacity for attracting, retaining and motivating the required skills for policy formulation and implementation, and the efficient delivery of public services.