Thursday, September 3, 2009

Public Service Convention Closes (Wrap-up)

source: Republic of Botswana (23/8/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 23 of 2009
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"

D3) 25/8/09: 2009 Public Service Convention Closes (Wrap-up)
* Convention Reviews and Passes Resolutions
* Public Service Achievers Recognised at Ceremony

The 2009 Botswana Public Service Convention closed on Tuesday with the adoption of four new resolutions during its final plenary session.

The closing plenary also provided an opportunity for participants to take stock of the progress that had been made towards implementation of the resolutions that had been adopted at the previous, 2007 Convention.

With respect to the new, 2009 resolutions, the Convention resolved that:

1. All Public Service Standards both published and unpublished, be they Ministry or Department specific, must be adhered to without fail.

2. All Public Services should be made accessible to all communities in an efficient and effective manner; that is Taking Services to the people should be done across Ministries, Departments and Districts through: Alignment of re-engineered processes to relevant legislation; and Implementation of E-Government Policy initiatives.

3. All Central Government Departments should Decentralise their functions to the Districts and local authorities & ensure services provided are Harmonised with District boundaries.

4. The Public Service Charter and Code of Conduct be institutionalised to ensure adherence, and be further infused into work ethics in the corporate work plans.

Resolutions from the 2007 Convention whose status was reviewed where calls to:

* Change negative perceptions regarding customer care;
* Align re-engineering processes and reforms with organizational structures;
* Decentralise the functions of Local Institutions;
* Strengthen Centre/Local Institution collaboration; and
* Review local tendering procedures

With respect to customer perceptions, it was reported that the latest 2009 Survey had shown significant improvement for the Public Service as a whole, with 84% of the public now rating overall service delivery across all Ministries as good to excellent.

Altogether 16 Ministries and agencies showed improvement over the past two years, while 7 had either stayed the same or shown modest deterioration. The Ministry of Lands and Housing showed the most improvement, with the Office of the President, Auditor General, and Independent Elections Commission also being reported to have made major gains to position themselves in the top 5, alongside the Office of the Ombudsman.

In terms of aligning re-engineering processes reforms with organizational structures, that is harmonizing reforms with their operational environment, it was reported that:

* All Ministries have now re-engineered most of their critical processes; while some have further audited them for compliance;
* The Public Service Standards have been published; and
* DPSM has posted Business Process Re-engineering Personnel to Ministries.

The Convention was further informed that all Ministries are now moving forward with their decentralisation efforts; which are being aligned with the Permanent Secretary to the President's call for harmonisation of district structures and operations by the end of this year.

It was also reported that substantial progress had been made in ensuring centre-local collaboration in the development and anticipated execution of NDP 10.

The Convention noted with appreciation that Local Authority Procurement and Asset Disposal Boards (LAPAD) have been established in all Districts to ensure greater effectiveness and efficiency, while minimizing opportunities for corruption.

The Convention expressed further appreciation that, in response to the 2007 perception that the level of corruption in the country was increasing; all Ministries have now put into place corruption prevention initiatives.

The theme of this year's Convention was "Transformational Leadership for Customer Focused Delivery - From Rhetoric to Consolidation and Effective Execution."

During its deliberations participants examine current performance in the context of local best practice examples with further reference to the Public Service Standards and latest customer service surveys.

General topic areas that were discussed at the Convention included Process Reengineering, Management Strategies and Decentralisation.

Among the additional areas of focus were bringing services closer to the people through E-Government and forging partnerships for improved service delivery.

The convention's closing session was followed by an evening awards ceremony to honour individuals, Work Improvement Teams and Ministry's who have excelled in their performance through customer satisfaction and enhanced service delivery.

Among the work improvement team projects the Ingwe team from the Ministry of Health in Maun came out on top, followed by teams from the
Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs and Prisons.

With reference to the 2009 Customer and Employee Satisfaction Survey the Ministry of Agriculture scored first place in employee satisfaction, while the Office of the Ombudsman was number one in customer satisfaction, with a 100% satisfaction rating. The runners-up for customer satisfaction are the Office of the President and Auditor General.

The Ministry of Lands and Housing was identified as the most improved Ministry for customer satisfaction since the last, 2005 survey.

Among the local authorities, the Survey ranked Kgatleng District first, followed by Chobe District and Selebi-Phikwe.

In terms of Performance Review the Ministry of Trade and Industry came out on top, followed by Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs and Lands and Housing.

The evening's celebrations culminated in the 2009 individual awards for outstanding civil servants, which this year went to Dudu Seduka, Emmanuel Galeforolwe, Amy Malobe, Mmoloki Molomo, Comaravel Rasamy and Belpert Kauraisa.

In his brief keynote remarks at the Awards ceremony the Permanent Secretary to the President, Mr. Eric Molale, paid tribute to the winners, noting:

"The enthusiasm and determination with which these distinguished colleagues are contributing to prosperity for all is there for all to see. Whatever success, they did it with limited resources but they found a path to a creative and innovative way of achieving results. To you the winners, you have set a standard that will challenge others to follow in your foot steps in future years. May your example reinforce the spirit of botho in service delivery in our public service! Let us work together to build the country of our dreams!"

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