The report provides a detailed account on progress or lack thereof on the 556 official proclamations stated in the governing Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) manifesto – the New Direction; the speech delivered by the President in his first state opening of parliament; and executive orders issued by State House in the last one year. It is an appraisal of President Bio’s first year in office.
The Bio-Meter is funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) as part of a wider effort in West Africa to create platforms for constructive state-citizen dialogue that will enhance the responsiveness of government to meet the needs of people they vow to serve.
He added that President Bio came to office with a slim margin (3.6%) of victory, giving his administration a small reserve of political capital and legitimacy to effectively control the state. The fact that the opposition has the parliamentary majority, and that Bio inherited a historically divided society with an economy in austerity, suggests that a main preoccupation of the administration over this past one year has been to establish its authority and expand its political legitimacy beyond this narrow election margin. Coming to power after 10 years in opposition, officials of the new government believe that the public service, justice, and security sectors were dominated by appointees perceived to be loyal to the past administration, which is now in opposition.
The Bio-Meter shows that the government has made significant progress on a number of fronts over the past year, but challenges remain. The Bio-Meter Committee fully understands the difficulty the administration is going through to restore the economy, create jobs and improve livelihoods.
The report emphasized that the government should take deliberate steps to address national cohesion. This starts with the administration building a performance-driven nation grounded in open and fair recruitment processes, and publicized performance contracts for public servants with expected and verifiable outputs/results known to all. Recruitment and dismissals of public servants should be based on objective criteria of competence and performance.
Relatively, government should work towards ending impunity and ensuring that justice is fairly administered to all. The phenomenon of “this is our turn” should come to an end. Government should take steps to help the public understand that electing a party to power should not mean that benefits only flow to supporters of that party, but rather that public goods should be provided to all citizens, including opposition supporters.