The Public Sector Reform Unit (PSRU) highlighted the findings and recommendations from the Management and Functional Review (MFR) conducted for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Republic of Sierra Leone. The Review Team was able to scan the challenges, service delivery functions, institutional structure and staffing of the Ministry to enhance its overall performance potentials. The Review Team was also able to determine the appropriateness of the current operating structure with critical attention to the organizational structure that is important to delivering on priorities of the Government of Sierra Leone.
The MFR process started with a preliminary consultative meeting held with the leadership including the Minister, senior and Middle Management staff of the Ministry. In the process, a presentation was made on the scope, methodology, approaches and resources needed to conduct the MFR. Questionnaires were administered to staff to assess the full potential and gaps if there are any within the Ministry. Though the MFR process has been a collaborative exercise involving PSRU and HRMO, the full commitment was needed from the leadership of the Ministry. As it worth giving credit where credit is due, PSRU would like to commend the leadership commitment exhibited by the Minister and the staff towards the accomplishment of this MFR. However, all attempts have been made to represent the views expressed and responses from questionnaires as accurately as possible.
The Review Team proposed an organizational structure and administrative arrangement of the Ministry, so as to achieve its mandate enshrined in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone including other laws and regulations that provides the statutory framework for the MIA to promote the political leadership role for the security institutions of Sierra Leone. The recommendations proffered in this report will help to revitalize the MIA to enhance its strategic leadership on security matters. Above all, the MIA will be proactive in its policy direction and give the adequate advice to the Minister and other key stakeholders on policy related issues that will lead to effective monitoring for institutions under their supervision.
The Review Team took account of the gaps and challenges faced by the Ministry and as such make special cases for the recruitment of a Records Management Officer to manage the records management system, development of a communication strategy, a creation of a succession plan for staff that are on the verge to retire, and the establishment of Focal Persons to oversee the activities of the institutions under its purview. Furthermore, the team acknowledge the fact that there are ongoing fortnightly inter-agency meetings which reinforces the need to strengthen the collaboration and coordination through these engagements. Summary of Findings and Recommendations. This section summarizes the gaps and challenges unfolding in the security sector and proffered recommendations to remedy the current situation of the MIA; The oversight functions of MIA are geared towards effective monitoring, supervision and provision of policy direction. Policy documents, bill, cabinet papers pass through the Ministry for cabinet approval. Therefore, the team recommend that the MIA strengthen the monitoring and supervisory role to the institutions under their control. This created the venue for the establishment of Focal Persons for each institution under the purview of the Ministry. There are ongoing fortnightly Inter-Agency meetings which enhanced and strengthen collaboration and coordination between the ministry and its stakeholders. The review team recommends the continuation of this platform where issues and challenges affecting the security sector are discussed and relevant solutions proffered. The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) as part of its mandate is currently engaged in the development of a key statutory instrument that would allow them to arrest and detain culprits of drugs abuse. The Review Team recommends that the Ministry being an oversight institution plays a facilitative role in ensuring the enactment of the legislation. The MIA has to position itself to address the impending wave of retirements. Cognizant of the ramification this has on human resource function of the Ministry, the Review Team recommends that MIA seek technical assistance from HRMO to develop a robust succession plan. As a result of ineffective information flow and weak inter- departmental collaboration amongst staff the performance/productivity of the ministry remains suboptimal. The review team recommends that the Ministry develops an internal communication strategy and put modalities in place to enhance inter-departmental collaboration and partnership. MIA has a functional relationship with a number of institutions, though the coordinating mechanisms needs to be strengthened. The Review Team therefore recommend that the Ministry holds regular meetings with key stakeholders providing regular update on issues surrounding the Ministry especially the security aspect that enhanced good governance, accountability and the rule of law. The review team acknowledged the fact that the Ministry has a centralized records management system however, there is no specialized records officer to manage the affairs of the record system. Therefore, we recommend that the Ministry liaise with HRMO to assign a qualified records officer to enhance data accessibility and usability. Furthermore, the team recommend that the Ministry develop and maintain an up-to-date record management plan, supported by appropriate policies and procedures.
The review team noted the MIA is grappling with logistical constraints (vehicles) which impedes its ability to monitor and supervise the agencies under its purview. The review team recommends the procurement of vehicles to ease mobility constraints. The review team noted the challenge of limited office space evident by the fact that the Immigration Department is cohabiting with the MIA. The Review Team recommends that the management of the ministry provides adequate office space for staff to carry out their daily activities. The Review Team also noted significant challenges in the area of IT/ICT equipment and accessories. The review team recommends the provision of ICT equipment and accessories.
The Review Team noted that there is no existing organizational structure that would address challenges unfolding in the security sector. Therefore, the Review Team recommend for a structure/organogram that will stand the test of time for the Ministry to deliver on its mandate.