CSA releases decentralization plans

Liberia’s Civil Service Agency (CSA) Director- General Laurine Wede Johnson embarks on an ambitious reform agenda that places premium on decentralization, innovation, trainings and collaboration with relevant partners for the overall growth of the Agency, according to a press release.

“My focus is on decentralization, training for Ministries, Agencies and Commissions (MACs) to ensure information of the payroll process, pension and services that benefit all civil servants. And those Civil Servants across the country benefit from all the services by establishing CSA offices in all counties”, the press release issued Monday in Monrovia quotes the new CSC boss as saying.

However, she notes, “funding is not available now. We are looking at innovative ways in trying to make things work. So we had an agreement with the Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA) and approached the idea of allocating an office space at the County Administrative Buildings for the Civil Service Agency.”

She explains that the CSA budget is restricted to around US$2M and her administration is looking for additional $3M, stressing the need to find innovative means to move to the next level.

“I bring innovative ideas to mobilize employees and stakeholders to think outside the box and see how we can make the CSA relevant once again. Over the years, the Civil Service has been challenged in terms of reaching out.”

According to her, there can be no genuine civil service reform without decentralization, noting that reform is usually a supporting strategy for more general decentralization in government operations and service delivery.
“One does not decentralize the civil service as an end in itself — one does so in order to provide services better, manage resources more efficiently, and support other general outcome goals…”

Director Wede Johnson continues that the Civil Service is one of the main instruments with which the Government fulfills its obligations, saying that in the context of decentralization, the Government’s PRO POOR AGNDA would only be achieved and benefits every citizen, if the Service is decentralized in order to perform a new set of duties efficiently, equitably, and effectively.

“So, my focus is to really tap into the reform where we talk about pay benefits, returning civil service as the center piece to deal with employees’ issues like transfers, promotions, pay issues, ghost names, amongst others.”

She vows to work hard to ensure Civil Servants welfare are prioritized and ensure they get paid in time and satisfied.

“Another focus for me is the decentralization process. We want to ensure that people in the counties have access to their Personnel Action Forms and ensure internet and satellite access to make biometric and other services readily available for everyone”, she says.

She says in the short term, the focus is visit CSA regional offices to access prospects and challenges, while medium term will involve working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and for long-term set up the first satellite office in a year’s time. Press Release

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