Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara has said the public should expect improved performance in the public sector, following the launch of Public Service Management and National Public Sector Reforms policies.
Speaking during the launch of the two policies at Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe on Friday, Muhara said the two policies were formed to transform the public service in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III (MDGS III).
He said: “Today is a special day, when we have launched and adopted the two important policies that have been developed with the objective of transforming the Malawi public service.
“The main key issues that need to be adhered to are service delivery, excellent service delivery, accountability and transparency. We expect the public to read the policies and hold us accountable.”
Muhara further said since the current Malawi Public Sector Reforms journey began on February 11 2015, government has been implementing some key programmes to enhance and foster a new governance arrangement that will raise standards of performance of the Malawi public service and ensure delivery of quality public goods and services to the citizenry.
He, however, refused to respond to a question from Weekend Nation on why there appears to be no action against officers who have been involved in mismanagement of public resources.
The question was based on recent audit reports which consistently query a lack of adherence by controlling officers to the Public Finance Management Act.
In the reports, the Auditor General has shown that there is a lack of seriousness among the staff who fail to account for key audit documents, including financial statements.
According to the National Public Sector Reforms Policy, the performance of the public service has been deteriorating over time.
“Some of the factors that have contributed to poor performance are low morale and productivity of civil servants, inadequate implementation of policies and programmes, inadequate collaboration among public sector institutions and non-State actors, poor public sector governance, misallocation and misappropriation of resources in the public service and a negative mindset that undermines the ability of public servants to be fully committed to public service,” reads part of the policy.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative Maria Torres commended government for the policies launched, saying the donor community expects Capital Hill to put the words into action if the civil service is to be transformed.
“This is a good initiative worth commending. We hope to see a robust civil service and that things will change,” she said.
During the launch, government also decorated the best performers in three categories, namely ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), institutional bodies and parastatals.