CSA Launches Automated Testing and Online Recruitment Portal

Robert Serge Saint-Pé and Dioda Wreh-Seekey

Monrovia, Liberia – In a groundbreaking move toward modernization and efficiency, the Government of Liberia through the Civil Service Agency (CSA) launched its highly anticipated automated testing and civil service recruitment portal. The innovative platform aims to streamline the recruitment process, ensuring transparency, accessibility, and fairness in the selection of candidates for various government positions.

The official launch event, held at the CSA headquarters within the Ministerial Complex on Wednesday, December 20, 2023, marked a significant milestone for the public sector. Attended by government officials, dignitaries, and key stakeholders, the event showcased the Agency’s commitment to embracing technology for a more effective and merit-based recruitment system.

The newly unveiled automated test and online recruitment portal is designed to revolutionize the way candidates are assessed for civil service positions, replace the paper-based system previously used since the 1970s, and to help facilitate the process for those applying from the rural counties. Through the portal, applicants can now complete standardized tests online, providing a more convenient and accessible means of evaluation, significantly reducing the time frame from testing to recruitment and hindering corruption.

During her welcome remarks, the Deputy-Director General for Human Resources and Policy of the CSA, Hon. Onikeh Symthe-Jackson expressed her enthusiasm for the new system. She stated, “the launch of the automated test is a legacy for the Agency, which will enable candidates to apply and take the CSA test from any part of Liberia.’’

Hon. Jackson, further stated that the development of the online portal began in May 2023, and is intended to restore a merit-based recruitment process for civil servants, which will also post job vacancies for required candidates to take advantage from the online access.

During the ceremony, the Director-General of the CSA, Hon. James A. Thompson, noted that the automated test and recruitment portal signifies that the Agency is now transitioning from manual testing system to a digital testing portal with the modernization system aiming to enable applicants to do the tests from any part of the country and instantly receive results. Hon. Thompson also alluded his satisfaction of the portal being developed by employees of the Agency in partnership with Mwentana, Liberia leading software developers with the idea driven of that of the Rwandan Government who employed their own software developers to create their employment portal without the help of foreign aid or allotting a huge amount of money.

Conforming to the portal created by the CSA, the Director-General stated that it will enhance the merit-based recruitment process for individuals to be hired into the civil service from any part of the country, and that job opportunities will be advertised on the portal to encourage deserving Liberians to apply. Hon. Thompson, “The usage of the online portal will do away with the manual correction of test papers which has created difficulties in sorting qualified candidates, and will significantly reduce the burden of interested candidates from out of town who by then traveled across the country just to sit the test. Now with such innovation, shortlisted applicants from the online examination can be easily accessed for interviews upon successfully passing the test.”

Minister James A. Massaquoi, Assistant Education Minister for Administration, being proxied for Hon. Tanneh G. Brunson of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning as the official launcher of the ceremony, stated that system change and transformation are key to developing any institution, therefore, embraced the new CSA testing and recruitment structure.

According to Minister Massaquoi, “The automatic testing system might seem like a challenge, unless Liberians make use of the opportunity. Digital transformation as a whole is a void of discrimination and shows that Liberia is now on a new wave of technology in the recruitment process’’. He further stated that civil servants should make themselves more computer friendly in order to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of technology. He also applauded the Director-General and his staff for creating such a unique initiative.

Stakeholders, including Human Resources Managers, and the President of Civil Service Association of Liberia (CSAL), Mr. Moibah K. Johnson, welcomed the introduction of the portal and lauded the Agency’s dedication to modernizing its processes and ensuring a level playing field for all applicants.

The CSA has outlined plans for workshops on the usage of the portal for human resources management across all government ministries, agencies, and commissions. The Agency also plans to conduct outreach programs to familiarize potential candidates with the new system and ensure broad participation.

The Act that established the CSA defines the civil service as comprising all Government employees in the civil service administration of the country, managing personnel recruitment, including but not limited to, conducting civil service examinations for classified positions, in furtherance of its mandate areas.

Launching its highly anticipated automated test and civil service recruitment portal marks a pivotal moment for the CSA in embracing technology to enhance the efficiency and fairness of the Agency’s recruitment process. The portal reflects on the Agency’s commitment to creating a civil service that is not only responsive but also in tune with the demands of the digital age.

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