Civil society organisations (CSOs) have demanded speed and effective action on public service reforms government is implementing in various sectors.
Some CSOs have been in the forefront challenging the reforms process, arguing that it is illegal to implement them without Parliament involvement.
In reaction to the criticism, Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who chairs the Public Service Reforms Commission (PSRC), on Tuesday engaged the CSOs in Lilongwe to inform them on the progress ministries and parastatals pioneering the reforms are undertaking.
Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) executive director Dalitso Kubalasa said the progress report the commission presented to the CSOs did not have complete information on progress.
He said the targets which the ministries like Finance and parastatals were set to meet should be publicised for them to monitor.
“We would like to support the reforms but we need more information. For example, in the Ministry of Finance under Debt and Aid Management, how can this information be accessed easily? This is where the Access to Information [ATI] legislation comes in,” Kubalasa said.
Commenting on the progress, Livingstonia Synod Church and Society programme executive director Moses Mkandawire said it would only become satisfactory if accompanied by policy and legal framework changes.
“We appreciate that the process has started but there are targets which have been set by ministries and departments that should be adhered to and all Malawians should monitor,” he said.
Secretary for Public Service Reform Management Department, Nwazi Mnthambala, explained that CSOs which have been engaged have understood the reason for the delay in progress which includes reviewing policy and legal frameworks.
The commission also outlined to the CSOs the impact of the reforms at grass roots level, giving an example of teachers’ salary payment system efficiency which has resulted in teachers putting in more work in class instead of going to banks to check if they have been paid.
Among the parastatal reforms Mnthambala touted as a success included the newly introduced automated car park system at Kamuzu International Airport through Airport Development Limited (ADL) and increase in water generation capacity by Blantyre Water Board (BWB). n