Public Sector Reform Unit

Office of the President, 8 Wesley Street, Freetown

MANAGEMENT AND FUNCTIONAL REVIEW OF NATIONAL ASSETS AND GOVERNMENT’S PROPERTY COMMISSION (NAGPC) AUGUST, 2020

GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE  PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM UNIT  (PSRU) FINAL REPORT MANAGEMENT AND FUNCTIONAL REVIEW OF NATIONAL ASSETS AND GOVERNMENT’S PROPERTY COMMISSION (NAGPC)  AUGUST, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The leadership of the National Assets and Government’s Property Commission requested for Management and Functional Reviews (MFR) to address its major administrative challenges and structural deficiencies including severe shortage of qualified, well trained and well remune rated personnel. This report presents results of the review with recommendations proffered to particularly

address the stated problems. Most importantly, the review propose s measures to improve on the

existing situation and to also restore efficiency in de livery service to the people of Sierra Leone.

This review was undertaken by the Public Sector Reform Unit with complementary support of the

Human Resource Management Office. The exercise was focused on modernizing the Asset and

property register componen t of the Commission supported by effective records management system

that can be linked to different sector utilizing Government assets and prop erty in and out of Sierra

Leone; which necessitate active partnership and collaborative engagement with the Mini stry of

Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

This justified the need for new strategies, new policies, modern ICT system and a purposeful human

capacity drive to overhaul the entire operational and management culture of the Commission. It will

a lso require a continued dedication to coordination and collaborative engagement with other

Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), particularly with the Ministry of Works and Public

Assets, where functional overlaps exist.

The review team

noted that the present organization structure of the Commission needs reviewing to

enable it discharge its mandate and functions effectively owing to the lack operational machinery for

effective policy implementation. Where planning and policy implementation exists it is ad hoc,

reactive and does not provide direction or support for management of the Commission.

An appropriate organizational structure has been recommended for adoption by the Commission.

The qualities and characteristics of the recommended structure have been outlined and discussed

with the top echelon of the Commission who has accepted its merits. Furthermore, the

recommended structure complies with the Architecture of a modernized Assets and property

management Commission. PSRU is hopeful that the recommended structure is based on the

specialized and unique nature of the Commission and the mandate assigned to it.

1.1. Summary of Findings

The findings of the Management and Functional Review is summarized here with recommendations.

It worth noting that the ability to implement the mandate of the Commission is largely dependent on

its capacity to conduct effective policy implementation and coordinate stakeholder’s engagement,

and foster compliance of all institutions of Government to the 1990 Act of Parl iament , which

established the Commission . At the same time, the capacity of the Commission to perform its

assigned functions will also depend on the number of staff available and their possession of

requisite skills. Looking at the tasks that the Commissio n is performing at the moment, the

Commission has few competent staff with the technical capacity to manage public assets and

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property besides the Commissioner and the Executive Secretary. So far, the findings and

property besides the Commissioner and the Executive Secretary. So far, the findings and recommendations are thematically summarizerecommendations are thematically summarized below:d below:

1.1.2. Operational Functions of the Commission

The result revealed a number of challenges that affect the efficiency and productivity in the performance of the staff roles and responsibilities. It emerged from interviews conducted with staff at the headquarters and the regional offices in Bo and Kenema that few staff are undertaking operational function that could have been undertaken by many technical staff. Implicitly, the Commission is short-staffed with limited resources to perform technical functions. As a result, the few available staff, which are mostly volunteers struggle to perform the day-to-day roles and responsibilities in most case without any much support from the HQ. They lamented the limited time for pursuing high impact functions with limited resources and technical support from the HQ. Though, they are guided by an Act of Parliament to perform their respective function, the review also revealed inadequate capacity to exercise their respective roles and responsibilities.

Recommendations: The review team would like to make a case to fast track the appointment of Regionally-based Commissioners. This is in view of the reality that the Commission’s ability to implement its mandate is also dependent on having the full complement of Regional Commissioners. The team is of the technical view that having the Regionally-based Commissioners with technical knowledge in various technical disciplines will complement the efforts of the technical staff and also help to increase the visibility and productivity of the Commission.

1.1.3. Administrative Functions of the Commission

The realization of the mandate and goals of the Commission depends on the quality of its

The realization of the mandate and goals of the Commission depends on the quality of its administrative processes and administrative processes and proceduresprocedures. Within that context, the r. Within that context, the review took ieview took into consideration nto consideration area of recruitment, Records Managementarea of recruitment, Records Management and Accommodations. and Accommodations.

1.1.4. Human Resource Management

The human resource management function is largely undervalued in the Commission. Presently,

The human resource management function is largely undervalued in the Commission. Presently, HR functions are perfoHR functions are performed by the rmed by the Senior Assistant SecrSenior Assistant Secretaryetary. There is an urgent need to develop a . There is an urgent need to develop a more promore pro--active and competent HR functions properly staffed by trained HR personnel.active and competent HR functions properly staffed by trained HR personnel. The review The review team was also able to identify acute shortage of staff at both headquarterteam was also able to identify acute shortage of staff at both headquarterss and regional levels. The and regional levels. The review also rereview also revealed that the Commission relies on volunteers to fill vacant positions that could have vealed that the Commission relies on volunteers to fill vacant positions that could have been held by highly skill personnel. These volunteers stated the lack of stipend as their biggest been held by highly skill personnel. These volunteers stated the lack of stipend as their biggest challenge, especially when combined with the other challenges noted echallenge, especially when combined with the other challenges noted e.g. lack of mobility, airtime .g. lack of mobility, airtime etc. It was suggested that adequate resourcing and capacity building opportunities will positively etc. It was suggested that adequate resourcing and capacity building opportunities will positively impact on service delivery of the Commission. impact on service delivery of the Commission.

Recommendations,We therefore recommend the following: Development of a functiDevelopment of a functional organogram that incorporates all functions performed by the onal organogram that incorporates all functions performed by the Commission as shown in annex 2.Commission as shown in annex 2.  Collaborate with PSC and HRMO to develop job descriptions for allCollaborate with PSC and HRMO to develop job descriptions for all divisions and positions divisions and positions within the Commission.within the Commission.  Collaborate with PSRU in the development of Collaborate with PSRU in the development of comprehensive Training Plan to ensure comprehensive Training Plan to ensure improvement in the technical capacity in theimprovement in the technical capacity in the Commission.Commission. Recruitment and Selection The review revealed that the Commission has a very lean staff at the HQ and regional offices to

The review revealed that the Commission has a very lean staff at the HQ and regional offices to effectively implement its mandate. Teffectively implement its mandate. The administering of regional offices by volunteers shows critical he administering of regional offices by volunteers shows critical recruitment of staff for the effective recruitment of staff for the effective and efficient service delivery and efficient service delivery ooff the Commission. the Commission.

Recommendation:

Recommendation: We We recommend recommend that the Commission contact HRMO and PSC to fastthat the Commission contact HRMO and PSC to fast--tract the tract the recruitmentrecruitment of critical positions and ensure that the current volunteersof critical positions and ensure that the current volunteers (if they are qualified)(if they are qualified) arare e absorbed in the absorbed in the Commission. Job descriptions It emerged

It emerged during the reviewduring the review that staff and volunteers have not been recethat staff and volunteers have not been receiving enough guidance, iving enough guidance, through proper administthrough proper administrative and technical training, or that they are simply doing what they rative and technical training, or that they are simply doing what they thinkthink they should be doing. It is still important to identify wthey should be doing. It is still important to identify ways to address the fact that mostays to address the fact that most of of the the respondents indicated that they have only a partial respondents indicated that they have only a partial understanding their job understanding their job funfunccttionsions. .

Recommendations: We We recommendrecommend the development of job descriptthe development of job description for all staff in orderion for all staff in order to to improve coherence between expected responsibilities and actual day to day activities. This will help improve coherence between expected responsibilities and actual day to day activities. This will help to enhance clarity in job descriptions, with into enhance clarity in job descriptions, with in--depth undepth understanding of what they should be doing. We derstanding of what they should be doing. We also also recommendrecommend that the Commission providethat the Commission providess proper guidance and supervision with effective proper guidance and supervision with effective reporting line. reporting line. Training and development

Seventy--six percent of interview respondents indicated that they did not recsix percent of interview respondents indicated that they did not receive a formal induction eive a formal induction training when they were recruited. Some staff described their induction as being paired with training when they were recruited. Some staff described their induction as being paired with experienced workers in that positionexperienced workers in that position or what could be appropriately referred to as learning by or what could be appropriately referred to as learning by observationobservation. 

Recommendation: We : We recommendrecommend that the Commission preparethat the Commission preparess a strategic planna strategic planninging on the on the development of human resources of the Commission. The document shoulddevelopment of human resources of the Commission. The document should havehave multiple multiple stakeholdersstakeholders inputsinputs to serve as a tool for future planning of the budgetary resources related to the to serve as a tool for future planning of the budgetary resources related to the sstaff taff trainingtraining based on job descriptions and required qualification for each position.based on job descriptions and required qualification for each position.  Financial resources According to the financial document review by the Team, the Commission received 0.5% of the According to the financial document review by the Team, the Commission received 0.5% of the national budget and 50% of total approved allocation from the Ministrnational budget and 50% of total approved allocation from the Ministry of Finance. At central level, y of Finance. At central level, the Chairman and Executive Secretary are informed of the budget ceiling and develop plans within the Chairman and Executive Secretary are informed of the budget ceiling and develop plans within this funding envelope. The impact of this can be seen in the overall lack of resources within the this funding envelope. The impact of this can be seen in the overall lack of resources within the Commission offices at the HQ Commission offices at the HQ and regional levels. and regional levels. 

Recommendations: We therefore, We therefore, recommendrecommend that the Commission engage with the Ministry of that the Commission engage with the Ministry of Finance for a timely disburFinance for a timely disbursement of the finance to facilitate the work of the sement of the finance to facilitate the work of the CommissionCommission. We also . We also recommendrecommend that the Commission embark on fundrthat the Commission embark on fundraising activities to solicit complimentary support aising activities to solicit complimentary support rather than absolute dependent on subvention from Government that are often not forthcoming.rather than absolute dependent on subvention from Government that are often not forthcoming. Procurement and Disposal of Assets by MDAs The Procurement Act does not discriminate against MDAs with respect to size or volume of activities. It is important that all MDAs inform the Commission about the procurement of Government assets and their disposal. Not only does it help to keep record of Government assets and property, it also helps the Commission to monitor the life cycle of assets and property and reduces the incidence of corrupt practices in converting public assets into private ownership.

Recommendations: We therefore, recommend that the Commission work with NPPA to be able to track and report on all assets and qualifying lifecycle events from acquisition through disposal. This should include capturing detailed contract and acquisition data and updates on the status of asset and inventory throughout its lifecycle through to consumption and disposal. In line with this recommendation, we also recommend that the Commission sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the NPPA. Records Management System

The review observed that the Commission have no Records Management Officer and a Unit to

The review observed that the Commission have no Records Management Officer and a Unit to address the recoaddress the records management systems.rds management systems. There is a need to address the issue of aThere is a need to address the issue of a centralized centralized database of all property and assets in an out of Sierra Leone, which must be collected in a database of all property and assets in an out of Sierra Leone, which must be collected in a comprehensive manner, and all available information on a wide range of issues related comprehensive manner, and all available information on a wide range of issues related to assets to assets and property registration documented. and property registration documented.

Recommendations: We therefore, We therefore, recommendrecommend that the Commission rethat the Commission re--organize the Asset register organize the Asset register and records keeping systems with assistance from the Directorate of science and innovation, Office and records keeping systems with assistance from the Directorate of science and innovation, Office of the Presidenof the President and the introduction of a central information software called the “Master Register”. t and the introduction of a central information software called the “Master Register”. We also

We also recommendrecommend that assets and property inventory officers (Records Management Officers) that assets and property inventory officers (Records Management Officers) are recruited and given adeqare recruited and given adequate training anduate training and manuals on procedures, policimanuals on procedures, policies, and practices for es, and practices for effective records managementeffective records management developeddeveloped. In line with this recommendation, we also recommend . In line with this recommendation, we also recommend that the training programme integratthat the training programme integrate paper and electronic information system that ise paper and electronic information system that is reliable and reliable and verifiable on assets inventory and monitoriverifiable on assets inventory and monitoring.ng.Accommodation The review team was surprised

The review team was surprised to observe that the present office space occupied by the to observe that the present office space occupied by the Commission is just part of a small portion of the Ministry of Works and Public Assets. Even wiCommission is just part of a small portion of the Ministry of Works and Public Assets. Even without thout critical staff componentcritical staff component which the Commission is which the Commission is craving for, there is already an acute problem with craving for, there is already an acute problem with accommodation. This does not help to ensure productivity as employees are expected to work in a accommodation. This does not help to ensure productivity as employees are expected to work in a conducive environment in order to be effective in doing their job.conducive environment in order to be effective in doing their job.

Recommendations: We therefore We therefore recommendrecommend that the Commission consider alternative measures that the Commission consider alternative measures in place for the provision of additional accommodation. We also in place for the provision of additional accommodation. We also recommendrecommend that immediate steps that immediate steps be taken to identify and relocate to bigger and more convenient office building as a way of be taken to identify and relocate to bigger and more convenient office building as a way of rebranding and effrebranding and effecting institutional reform. We further ecting institutional reform. We further recommendrecommend that the Commission look into that the Commission look into the accommodation of regional offices as they are equally constraint by limited office the accommodation of regional offices as they are equally constraint by limited office accommodations.accommodations. Logistics and Equipment

The review revealed the lack of computers and s

The review revealed the lack of computers and stationary for report writing and documentation of tationary for report writing and documentation of assets, as well as communication facilities such as internet (for regional staff/volunteers) and topassets, as well as communication facilities such as internet (for regional staff/volunteers) and top--up up cards. Adequately resourcing offices of the Commission at the central and regional level will cards. Adequately resourcing offices of the Commission at the central and regional level will positivepositively impact on service delivery through improved assets and property documentation and ly impact on service delivery through improved assets and property documentation and enhance both internal and external communications. enhance both internal and external communications.

Recommendations: In light of the gaps and challenges, we In light of the gaps and challenges, we recommendrecommend that the Commission that the Commission provides the necessary equipmenprovides the necessary equipment to the staff at the regions to be able to carry out their duties. In t to the staff at the regions to be able to carry out their duties. In line with this recommendation, the line with this recommendation, the Commission should provide adequate quarterly budgetary Commission should provide adequate quarterly budgetary allocation to acquire computers and stationary for report writing and documentation of assets, allocation to acquire computers and stationary for report writing and documentation of assets, as as well as communication facilities such as internet (for regional staff/volunteers) and topwell as communication facilities such as internet (for regional staff/volunteers) and top--up cards. up cards. We We also also recommendrecommend that funds be made availablethat funds be made available to purchase Moto Bikes and pool vehicles to to purchase Moto Bikes and pool vehicles to improve on the productivity of the Commission at the District improve on the productivity of the Commission at the District and Regional levels.and Regional levels.

COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SHARING

There is a need to improve on the image of the Commission,

There is a need to improve on the image of the Commission, through publicthrough public education. It emerged education. It emerged from some of the interviews conducted with regional offices that they often face challenges from some of the interviews conducted with regional offices that they often face challenges to to commcommunicate with the HQ particularly in the absence of internet connectivity. They also faceunicate with the HQ particularly in the absence of internet connectivity. They also face aa number of number of other other challenges owing to the lack of effective internal communication system and challenges owing to the lack of effective internal communication system and procedure both at the Headquarter and the regional Offices, which continuprocedure both at the Headquarter and the regional Offices, which continue to affect their efficiency e to affect their efficiency and productivity. and productivity. The Commission has no competent Information, Education and Communication The Commission has no competent Information, Education and Communication Officer with the requisite expertise to help heighten the image and visibility of the Commission. Officer with the requisite expertise to help heighten the image and visibility of the Commission.

Recommendations: The Review TeamThe Review Team thethereforerefore recommend recommend that the Commission develop a that the Commission develop a comprehensive Communication Strategy that willcomprehensive Communication Strategy that will express the policy guidelines for communications express the policy guidelines for communications and related outreach activities; including what the Commission wishes to share with other MDAs and and related outreach activities; including what the Commission wishes to share with other MDAs and the general puthe general public. This strategy should be reviewed and updated as and when necessary toblic. This strategy should be reviewed and updated as and when necessary to contest contest with emerging issues. with emerging issues. The review team is of the view that effective internal communication will The review team is of the view that effective internal communication will

enhance institutional productivity. We further

enhance institutional productivity. We further recommendrecommend that the Commissionthat the Commission embark on effective embark on effective public education and information sharing campaign across the country to inform citizens of their public education and information sharing campaign across the country to inform citizens of their rights and responsibility with respect to Government’s assets and property.rights and responsibility with respect to Government’s assets and property. Overlaps and Duplication of Functions

The Team observed that Commitment to coordination exists, but duplication of key functions by other MDAs continue to negatively impact the work of the Commission. The review team also noted that the functions of assets management are performed by Local Council under the Local Government Act and subsequent devolution schedules fall under the responsibility of the Councils. The relationships between the Commission, MPWA, MoF and other stakeholders’ institutions are not clearly defined. As such, responsibilities of the Commission to the collaborating institution, and vice versa should be clearly defined.

Recommendations: To address these challenges, we strongly recommend that the mandate of the Commission be reviewed to be able to address the functional overlap between the Commission and other institutions of Government. To implement this recommendation, we further recommend continuous stakeholders’ engagement at policy level. Stakeholders Engagement And Coordination

Interviews with the leadership of the Commission revealed that the Commission frequently collaborates with the Police, Attorney-General Office, Office of the Administrator and Registrar-General, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Environment, Ministry of Public Works and Assets. The review team also noted that the expected closest partners of the commission is the Ministry of Works and Public Assets and the Monument and Relic Commission. The review also revealed serious shortcoming with respect to coordination and corporation between the Commission and the Ministry of works and Public Assets with expected cooperation and active collaborative engagement between the Commission and the Ministry.

 

Recommendations: We therefore recommend that the Commission holds quarterly or bi-annual stakeholders’ engagement with the Ministry of Public Works and Assets, Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Environment, Ministry of Finance and Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, as well as National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA). Such stakeholders’ engagement will help to clarify many issues including functional overlap and duplication of duties; increase the visibility of the Commission and also contribute in the development of policies and strategies for Assets and property management in Sierra Leone. There is a need for the Commission to re-establish close links with assets management stakeholders as stated above.