WINDHOEK – Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on Tuesday presented the Public Service Amendment Bill to the National Assembly, which amongst others would see permanent secretaries having fixed-term contracts, renewable on satisfactory performance.
“As part of further promoting the culture of performance, the Bill proposes the appointment of permanent secretaries on a fixed-term contract. A fixed-term contract arrangement will serve to promote the culture of performance on the highest level of the public service,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said in her introduction of the Bill for discussion by Members of Parliament (MPs).
She told lawmakers that as part of the public service reforms, government introduced various service delivery instruments to facilitate the achievement of developmental objectives.
One of these tools, she said, is the Performance Management Policy.
“With the implementation of the performance management system, the realisation of set targets and outcomes has become the basis for performance monitoring and evaluation,” she said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says it has become standard practice in employment arrangements to link performance of an organisation to the leadership of the institution to ensure achievements of agreed deliverables.
“Performance agreements are based on the deliverables in each of the annual plans and serve as a critical indicator of progress towards achieving the strategic plan,” she said.
Furthermore, she said it is also important to indicate that the recent appointments of permanent secretaries were done on fixed contracts, in line with the spirit of the proposed amendment.
However, she said the current Public Service Act does not make it mandatory for such appointments to be made on a fixed term contract.
“This amendment will make it imperative that all appointment at that level will be made for a fixed term,” she added.
“I need to emphasise, however, that five years is not a guarantee of employment until the expiry of the contract. Performance will be managed and disciplinary procedures as per the Public Service Act and Regulations will still apply,” she said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says under the new Act, permanent secretaries who are currently on an indefinite term of contract will be given an opportunity to choose whether to continue on such indefinite term or to move to a fixed-term contract.
“Such choice must be exercised within 12 months after the commencement of the Public Service Amendment Act,” she said.
The other change being proposed under the Bill, she said, is to change the designation permanent secretary to executive director.
She explained that the changing of the designation permanent secretary to executive director would align the designation with the already established terminology whereby the term ‘director’ is indicative of a position in the management cadre.
She said this will also support the proposed appointment on a fixed-term contract in that the perception of “permanency” in the current designation will be removed.
2018-11-22 09:34:07 7 months ago