Monday, January 26, 2009

Remarks by C.M.Lekaukau,Director General, GICO, at the Contract Signing Ceremony of the National Programme Implementation Coordination Project GICC

source: Republic of Botswana (25/1/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 1 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President "Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"


Please find below this afternoon's remarks by the Director General GICO at today's signing ceremony of the National Programme Implementation Project. Please also find attached the project brief [previously forwarded, available on request]

Senior Public Officers
Managing Director of Accenture Botswana
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:

1. We are today witnessing the beginning of one of the landmarks in the quest to operationalise the Government Implementation Coordination Office (GICO) which was set up by the Presidency and started operating on 2 May 2007. Since that date, it has been a tall order because the office had to be set up from scratch including the selection and recruitment of professional and support staff.

2. GICO is not unique in the world. This is because, it is no longer just enough that governments are able to develop policies for their people; it is now imperative that such policies are implemented through programmes and projects to benefit the society. The ideal goal of any country is thus to spend 100% of its annual development budget. It is the mandate of the Government Implementation Coordination Office (GICO) to aid the nation to achieve this ideal. GICO aims to do this through driving and coordinating all Government policies, programmes, and projects.

3. The leverage to achieving such an ideal goal is the utilisation of an effective project monitoring and evaluation system that informs the coordination office about the status of any major project in the country at any given time. Such a system ought to take into account the context within which it is embedded for it to be effective and it can not thus just be purchased off the shelf. The challenge lies in the development and application of relevant and proven project management systems, processes, measures and structures to ensure sustainable project success.

4. We are here today to sign a contract with Accenture which will enable the realisation of such a project. The core project objectives are as follows: • Objective 1: to design the Framework for Implementation & Coordination of Policy-Related Programmes and Projects • Objective 2: to design a Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy and Model • Objective 3: to design and Implement a Programme Management Office • Objective 4: to design and Implement an Effective Project Management System • Objective 5: to train public officers on advanced project management and handholding on use of the system. The Consultants will also be expected to provide troubleshooting and maintenance support to Government.

5. These objectives are amply described in a project brief which will be distributed shortly. The following are the anticipated benefits of the project:

• Multiple reporting formats problem will be solved through development of a comprehensive reporting tool from which information will be extracted for different purposes.

• It will be easy to track projects and flag those that are running behind schedule.

• It will be easy to determine the root causes of projects that are running behind schedule and advice on the way forward.

• Ministry cross-cutting projects will be easy to coordinate owing to clarity of roles of the different players and timelines for delivery.

• Resource utilization will be optimized owing to the fact that overloading points and under-loading time zones will be easily identified and the problems resolved.

• Fast tracking of projects will be aided owing to the fact that the project plans will indicate areas for possible concurrent engineering to be undertaken and the impact of crashing the project can be simulated.

• Actual project expenditure and percentage of project completion can be known at any given time

The project will significantly aid the Government in its drive of attaining 100% development budget expenditure. The project will significantly contribute to the Government drive to fast tract development projects to the nation. It will save time and money in trying to develop multiple un-integrated systems in various Ministries

6. Ladies and gentlemen, I will now briefly highlight some of the other key achievements of GICO since its establishment:

• GICO has conducted workshops with all Ministries and Departments on project planning and developed a standard format for reporting on projects using Gantt Charts. The workshops were aimed at kick starting the process of empowering public servants with project management skills.

• Policy and Programmes Division’s primary mandate is to monitor implementation of strategies, policies and programmes. The Section advises Ministries on formulation of policies and also coordinates their review to ensure synergy and alignment to national goals.

• GICO serves as the technical advisor to Cabinet Committee on Economy and Employment, which is chaired by His Honour the Vice President.

• GICO acts as the interface between BOCCIM and the Private Sector with Government and serves as Secretariat to the HLCC. GICO intends to extend this service to other organs of the private sector not currently represented by BOCCIM.

• NDP 10 will have a Chapter on Monitoring and Evaluation which is being drafted by GICO. The draft Chapter was presented at the NDP 10 Stakeholders’ Conference in October, 2008. In addition, GICO is a member of the NDP10 reference group.

7. I am pleased to inform you that the Business Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) report titled “Botswana Excellence – Strategy for Economic Diversification and Sustainable Growth” has recently been approved by Cabinet and we will be rolling out its distribution to the public starting first quarter of 2009. Currently, the Strategy is being translated into Setswana. My goal is to ensure that all Batswana should have access to the Strategy. May we wish you a Merry Christmas! PULA!

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