Good governance crucial for public service improvement — Muhara

Government has emphasized that good governance is crucial for the promotion of efficient and effective management and administration of the public service.

Commemoration of Africa Public Service day  -pics by Lisa Kadango
Muhara at the commemoration of Africa Public Service -pics by Lisa Kadango
Muhara: Good governance
 Muhara with British envoy Holy Tett  at BICC in Lilongwe on Friday.

Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara made the remarks in Lilongwe on Friday during the commemoration of the Africa Public Service Day.

He said public officers work in the public interest which requires commitment to the rule of law, integrity, ethics and accountability among others hence the need to ensure that such issues are adhered to in order to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.

Muhara assured of government’s commitment in the promotion of all aspects of good public sector governance in order to ensure that the public service earns public confidence through better decisions and actions that will benefit the people of Malawi.

“Effectiveness and efficiency in the public service also requires leadership that is able to steer the public service towards professionalism and achievement of strategic objective goals,” he said.

He said in order to ensure the much needed effectiveness and efficiency, strategies have been put in place such as  implementation of a corruption prevention strategy, promotion of ethical behaviour in procurement processes and utilization of public resources, strengthening accountability of resources allocated to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure that they are utilized for the intended purpose.

Muhara observed that such strategies will lead to the realisation of sustainable social economic development of the country.

Government is also geared to strengthening relevant institutions such as the National Audit Office, the Public Appointments Committee, the Anti Corruption Bureau, office of the Ombudsman and Civil Service Commission among others.

Meanwhil,  government has a full department on good governance placed in the Office of the President and Cabinet.

“Another clear indication of government’s commitment to good governance in the public service is the introduction of the Performance Contracting Management System (PCMS),” said Muhara.

PCMS is a freely negotiated contract between the Controlling Officer of any Ministry, Department and Agency and the Chief Secretary to the Government.

In the contract, all ministers and board chairpersons of parastatals countersign and the president endorses the contracts which serve as an accountability measure.

Not only is PCMS meant to serve as an accountability measure but also public servants’ signing of their undertaking with Public Sector Reforms, with Ministry of Finance, with Statutory Corporations and Performance Enforcement Department which is also meant to enhance good governance and maintain public trust.

As government is ensuring that there is good governance in the public service, it is also committed to improving conditions of service and working environment for public servants through the review of the Public Service Act, Malawi Public Service Regulations and development of the Malawi Public Service Management Policy.

Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU) President, Joseph Mdambo concurred with Muhara on the need for good governance in the civil service.

He described the public service as an engine of development hence the need for an effective and efficient public service for the country to move forward.

However, Mdambo said there can only be an efficient and effective public service if there is a conducive working environment saying public service is a noble job but at the end of the day for one to perform there is need for motivation.

“No country in the world has developed without public servants. As such there is need to empower them with good remuneration packages, materials and capacity building. Salary is one of the motivating factors and as such we need to balance on what you give out and what you get.,” he said.

The day was commemorated under the theme “The Intersection of Youth Empowerment and Migration: Entrenching a Culture of Good Governance, ICT and Innovation for Inclusive Service Delivery”.

Africa Public Service Day is an event entrenched in the African Union (AU) calendar and originates from the Conference on African Ministers for Public Service held in Tangier, Morocco in 1994.

It was greed at the conference that the day should be celebrated annually on 23rd June to recognize the value and virtue of service to the community.

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Chief Secretary.putting on a cup like a vendor in Limbe Market