Editorial: A Message for the Newly Commissioned Officials

One hundred junior officials of government were on Friday, August 31, 2012, commissioned by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Monrovia.

Commissioning of the junior Liberian Government officials at the Monrovia City hall followed similar ceremony for senior officials of government, including cabinet ministers at the Foreign Ministry on Capitol Hill.

Three key elements of integrity, during last Friday’s program, were at the core of President Sirleaf’s official remarks. She named efficiency, hard work and honesty as stimulus for government’s progress.

Recommitting her administration to “lifting Liberians”, the officials were reminded about their respective contributions toward the achievement of country’s development goals.

Madam President also reminded her officials about the compelling demand for integrity in the discharge of their duties, noting that those who choose to violate the public trust must be prepared to account.

While these good words of admonition and caution by the Head of State may be very cardinal to how these officials of government conduct themselves, one can only hope for adherence on the part of the officials, as well as commitment to reprimanding those who go against the administration’s development agenda by engaging in acts not compatible with the President’s pronouncements.

The commissioned officials must understand the enormous challenges currently at hand, in terms of Liberia’s development advancement and do with their personal agendas.

It is no secret that in certain ministries and agencies of government when ministers and heads are challenged by junior ministers and other officials for unrealistic and selfish policies, such ministers institute actions to either marginalize or ‘back-bite’ these junior ministers before the President.

The fact that junior officials normally don’t interact with the President, ministers usually pursue their own public relations as a way inducing the president for decisions in their interest, most especially dismissal or transfer of their deputies to assistants.

In providing quality leadership in terms of achieving the country’s development goals, cabinet ministers and other senior officials must be very open to their deputies and assistants, as well as other civil servants in the day-to-day running of government ministries, agencies and public corporations.

While some may presently be harboring the belief that because this is President Sirleaf’s last term, everything must be done to “knock-out”, those with such belief must know that prosperity shall equally judge them.

If Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf must leave behind a legacy, all officials of government must be seen rallying around her instead of presenting to her inflated impressions, including showering her with ‘warm sentimental platitudes’ through the media as it is happening currently in Monrovia and elsewhere in the country.

In as much we welcome the expressed readiness young officials to demonstrate and justify their inclusion in the government; such commitment to the President must be manifested in their administrative, professional or behavioral conduct in dealing with subordinates and implementing government projects.

Unlike the last fiscal year, the commissioned officials, especially those administering the counties of Liberia, must this time ensure that projects under the County/Social Development Funds must be undertaken and monitored to represent the money worth.

With the privilege given by President Sirleaf to serve the nation, it is only hoped that cabinet ministers, their deputies and assistants, as well as other officials of state-run institutions will put aside unnecessary praises to the president and ensure their commitment and sincerity to her by being efficient, hard-working and honest in achieving the administration’s goals.

What they do now (if at all they haven’t) and how they do what they do now will go a long way in determining the kind of Liberia being ensilaged by the President for future. The Commissioned officials must be congratulated and urged not to “let the President down”.

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