Civil Service Reform Strategy

Fifteen years of conflict has destroyed the Civil Service. The

modicum of a merit-based, Civil Service system prevailing in

Liberia has been ruined. During the war years, Civil Service

standards, policies and procedures were ignored. A large

number of unqualified persons were recruited in the Service

largely on the basis of allegiance to the various warring

factions that persecuted the armed conflicts. Liberians

acquiesced to this situation as a trade-off between conflict

and peace. But even before the conflicts, the Service had

begun to deteriorate on account of recruitment, placement

and promotion being based on ethnicity, partisanship and

social contacts. The conflicts only worsened the situation.

 

However, there is a window of opportunity here! Our post-conflict reconstruction does not only provide an avenue for restoring the Service and rebuilding its capacity. More fundamentally, it provides a chance to modernize the Service in line with international “best practices” adapted to our conditions. The creation of a professional Civil Service is the key to the effective and efficient implementation of the government’s reconstruction and reform programs. This is the motivation for the development of this Civil Service Reform Strategy.

 

This strategy contains an over-arching vision of the reforms to be carried out;

strategic objectives to be achieved; reform components with their strategic directions; implementation arrangements, milestones and action plans; costs; and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. The Strategy contains six key orientations:

 

·        Re-structuring and Right-sizing: Establishing a lean, effective and efficient central government bureaucracy primarily dedicated to policy-making, regulation and monitoring and evaluation, while decentralizing implementation to sub-national levels and limiting the role of the government by outsourcing a number of services to non-state actors through strengthened public-private partnerships.

 

·        Pay and Pension Reforms: Putting into place a compensation regime of policies, remuneration and incentives that attracts, retains, and contributes to the motivation of civil servants to diligently perform their roles and responsibilities; as well as implementing a pension scheme that ensures that retired civil servants are paid decent post-service benefits;

 

·        Enhancing Service Delivery: Improving service delivery by valuing the public as customers and focusing on their needs while strengthening the quality of services and expanding access to all segments of the population.

 

·        Human Resources Management: Managing a government workforce through the fair and consistent application of modernized Civil Service laws, policies and regulations for the recruitment, development and utilization of civil servants in the effective and efficient implementation of the functions of ministries, agencies, and autonomous commissions. Human resource management will be further strengthened, through the installation of a state-of-art Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) based on biometric technology.

 

·        Leadership Development: Developing executive managerial and technical leadership capacity in the Civil Service to lead change and implement the government’s reconstruction and reform agenda.

 

·        Gender Equity: Instituting measures in Civil Service institutions that increase involvement of women, at all levels, in decision-making.

 

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