He commended the PSC for the presentation on the ongoing transformational strides taking place within the general civil service structure, and urged them to continue the measures being put in place. “We must try to professionalize the civil service as much as we could,” he said, adding that the ongoing transformation of the service is being done against the background that Sierra Leone needs a very efficient civil service because government can only perform to the extent of the capabilities of the civil service. “That is why our focus on energizing the public service is not displaced and we believe the measures you have put in place are on track,” he pointed out.
President Koroma also stated that although a lot of professionals are still attracted to the private sector due to improved conditions of service, he encouraged the PSC to recruit the very best wherever they are. “We are not yet there but we will continue to make the public service more attractive to entice more people from the private sector like it’s happening in countries like Singapore.
He also lauded the efforts of the commission for the tremendous work they have done to make the civil service more active than before. President Koroma indicated that the current moratorium on recruitment in the public service should be looked into because it is also not helping the civil service in terms of capacity building.
Chairman of the PSC Dr Amadu Max Sesay apprised the president about the challenges facing the commission, including budgetary constraints. He highlighted the issue of their modern, purpose-built PSC House to accommodate a new PSC, a PSC with an oversight and regulatory mandate over the public service, saying that although the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has commenced the disbursement of funds for the project, the allocations are too small to commission even the demolition of the current building. He also mentioned the current moratorium on recruitment in the public service which he said “is compounding the situation of unemployment for our graduates”.
Dr Sesay went on to note that history will smile kindly on President Koroma for what the PSC chairman described as waking up the huge constitutional beast (PSC) that went into inglorious slumber for over two decades. “In some of my early writings on the PSC, your Excellency, I have employed the use of the famous fable, Humpty Dumpty, as a metaphor to capture the experience of the institution. Before you, Humpty Dumpty has a great fall. But since 2008, Sir, the President’s men have been busy at work, putting Humpty Dumpty back together again,” said the PSC chairman.
Giving an overview of their 2016 annual report, Dr Max Sesay brought out a number of issues including scaling up internal reforms, supporting human resource management in the civil service, enforcing discipline and accountability in the public service as well as fostering sector and policy collaboration in the public service. These achievements, he said, would not have been possible without a decade of astute, stable, credible, respectable, admirable and iconic leadership of President Koroma.