retrenchment

Michael Kargbo

Ref Batch
A
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
11
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Ashley McCants
Name
Michael Kargbo
Interviewee's Position
Acting Head of Public Administration Department
Interviewee's Organization
Institute for Public Administration and Management
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Sierra Leone
Town/City
Free Town
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
In this interview, Dr. Michael Kargbo discusses the Sierra Leonean Institute for Public Administration and Management (IPAM) as well as the complementary civil service reforms that are being pursued within the country. He emphasizes the need for improved training, particularly in the field of information technology (IT). Dr. Kargbo explains that IPAM offers such essential training through university degree programs for students as well short-term courses geared towards current civil servants. The content of such programs should be determined from within the country, rather than mandated from donors, Kargbo maintains. He goes on to discuss the problems presented by the rigidly hierarchical civil service structure that is currently in place in Sierra Leone, and the potential merits of a Senior Executive Service, which would open up the application process for top positions and offer increased benefits, while subjecting them to rigorous annual review that could result in their removal from position. 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Dr. Michael Kargbo was the Acting Head of Public Administration Department of IPAM, the Institute for Public Administration and Management in Sierra Leone. Kargbo earned his doctorate in foreign policy from the University of Birmingham, publishing his thesis concerning British foreign policy in Sierra Leone. He has extensive experience as an educator, working in dozens of schools in the United Kingdom and at the University of Birmingham.

Full Audio File Size
55 MB
Full Audio Title
Michael Kargbo - Full Interview

Rebuilding the Civil Service After War: Rwanda After the Genocide, 1998-2009

Author
David Hausman
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Abstract
After the 1994 genocide, Rwanda’s government ministries, desperate for staff, went on a hiring spree. By 1998, the civil service had grown, but it consumed too much of the country’s limited revenues and lacked many of the critical skills essential for effective service delivery. Between 1998 and 2009, the Rwandan Ministry of Public Service and Labor led reforms that slashed the number of staff in central ministries by about 90%, tripled salaries for those who remained and decentralized basic service-delivery functions. Personnel cuts occurred in two major waves, one in 1999 and another in 2006. In 2006, the Ministry of Local Government rehired some civil servants fired under these reforms to staff district administrations. Those local governments began to deliver services, ranging from the issue of passports to road construction, that the government had earlier directed from Kigali, Rwanda’s capital. Following retrenchment and decentralization, the government set up a Public Service Commission in 2007 to standardize and oversee recruitment throughout the civil service. Results of the reforms were ambiguous. In early 2010, civil servants reported that the changes had improved overall staff quality but that ministries had too few people to carry out essential functions. They also said decentralization had improved service delivery in some cases but had overtaxed local administrations in others. There was some agreement, however, that the Public Service Commission recruitment system was effectively based on merit. 
 

David Hausman drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Kigali, Rwanda, in March 2010. Case published in July 2011.  Two separate cases, “The Promise of Imihigo: Decentralized Service Delivery in Rwanda, 2006-2010” and Government Through Mobilization: Restoring Order After Rwanda’s 1994 Genocide," provide additional insight into the processes of restoring and restructuring governance in insecure areas.

Associated Interview(s):  Angelina Muganza, Protais Musoni

Saving a Sinking Agency: The National Port Authority of Liberia, 2006-2011

Author
Jonathan Friedman
Country of Reform
Abstract

In 2006, Liberia’s only functioning seaport was a quagmire, riddled by corruption, cargo theft, and a glut of untrained workers. These problems combined to slow the delivery of relief supplies that were badly needed after a 14-year civil war, which had ended three years earlier. A battle site, the Freeport of Monrovia suffered from war damage and years of neglect. It was in danger of shutting down completely. The responsibility to upgrade the infrastructure and improve management lay with the National Port Authority (NPA), a state-owned enterprise that operated the Freeport. From 2006 through 2011, Togba Ngangana, George Tubman and Matilda Parker, successive managing directors at the NPA, enacted a series of reforms to restore the authority and port operations. The Liberian government and outside donors agreed to hire internationally recruited financial controllers to work with NPA directors on fiscal matters. Together, the directors and controllers put in place new systems that helped the NPA collect revenue and prevent unnecessary expenses, installed an automated financial management system, reduced staff size, trained remaining workers, and improved the Freeport’s security infrastructure to meet standards of the International Maritime Organization. This case chronicles the steps reformers took to improve the management of a politically sensitive agency in a post-conflict setting.

 
Jonathan Friedman drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Monrovia, Liberia, during September 2011. Case published February 2012.
 
Associated Interview(s):  Patrick Sendolo

E.M. Debrah

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C
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Ashley McCants
Name
E.M. Debrah
Interviewee's Position
Chairman
Interviewee's Organization
Governing Council, Ghana
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Ghanaian
Town/City
Accra
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

E.M. Debrah recounts his experiences in public sector reform in Ghana. He goes into detail about the culture of the civil service in Ghana as well as how one normally enters into the civil service, such as through the specially formed training institute, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. He also explains the recruitment strategy needed to increase capacity within the civil service and the training programs and internal review sessions that were conducted. He explains the need to increase remuneration packages and the creation of pension plans to lure more talent into the civil service, as well as detailing the retrenchment program Ghana introduced. Debrah also talks about the dynamic between host countries and donors and how to strike the right balance within this relationship to be able to work effectively. Finally, he makes the point that in order for reform to be successful, it must be realistic as well. One must be able to see one’s own limitations and plan accordingly.
 

Profile

At the time of this interview, E.M. Debrah was serving as chairman of the Governing Council in Ghana. He joined the Ghana Foreign Service in 1955 and served in missions around the world, including the United States, Liberia, Ethiopia and Australia. He previously served as secretary to the Cabinet and head of the Ghana Civil Service. He earned degrees from the University of Ghana and the London School of Economics, and received honorary doctorates of law from various universities. In 2006 he was awarded the National Award of the Star of Ghana award for his service to Ghana and other Commonwealth and African countries.

Full Audio File Size
87 MB
Full Audio Title
Amb. Debrah - Full Interview

Benjamin Mkapa

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Z
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
6
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Jennifer Widner
Name
Benjamin Mkapa
Interviewee's Position
Former President
Interviewee's Organization
United Republic of Tanzania
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Tanzanian
Town/City
Dar es Salaam
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Benjamin Mkapa discusses the reform of Tanzania’s civil service during his presidency. He explains the need for reform to curtail corruption and inefficiency, spur economic growth, promote more egalitarian policies for workers and retain support from international donors. He discusses Tanzania’s largely voluntary retrenchment program and pay reform for state employees, as well as efforts to privatize state-owned commercial enterprises. Measures to restructure and decentralize civil service, as well as improvements in performance management, also played a large role in Tanzania’s success in achieving civil service reform. Mkapa also discusses the role of leadership in creating and sustaining support for his reform program. He examines the role of the executive branch in mustering support from the civil service, the private sector, the legislature and other political entities, and international donors to ensure the efficacy and longevity of reform. He also emphasizes the importance of an active press, consistent provision of law and order, economic growth, and intelligent sequencing of reforms in the success of reform programs.
 
Profile

Benjamin Mkapa was the third president of Tanzania, holding the office from 1995 to 2005. Mkapa began his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but soon began work in journalism. After editorial work for newspapers, he was appointed press secretary for the president. His career then turned toward foreign affairs and politics again, and his appointments included the offices of ambassador to the United States, minister for foreign affairs, minister for information and broadcasting, minister for information and culture, and minister for science, technology and higher education.  

Full Audio File Size
53.1MB
Full Audio Title
Benjamin Mkapa Interview

Syed Tanveer Hussain

Ref Batch
G
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
5
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Andrew Schalkwyk
Name
Syed Tanveer Hussain
Interviewee's Position
Founder and Consultant
Interviewee's Organization
Climate Change Company
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Bangladeshi
Place (Building/Street)
Ideas Manzil
Town/City
Dhaka
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Syed Tanveer Hussain discusses a report on Bangladeshi government downsizing and restructuring he authored for the Office of the Prime Minister in 2002.  This document examined the implementation status and relative urgency of recommendations issued by 17 prior administrative reform committees and reorganization commissions.  Hussain describes a number of reasons for unsuccessful or incomplete implementation: lack of political will across party lines, insufficient explanation of reform rationale, finger-pointing at civil servants that generates built-in resistance, a reform committee system that fosters procrastination, and a distribution of power that at times favors the interests of a stable bureaucracy.  Hussain characterizes his ideal for the bureaucracy and describes a four-step process to achieve that ideal through planning, structural reform, capacity building and constant monitoring.  He then explains in detail each of his concrete proposals.  Among successfully implemented recommendations he counts separation of the Supreme Court and judiciary from other branches of government, and the establishment of quotas for civil service employment of the handicapped. Pending recommendations include administrative downsizing through elimination of function redundancy and outsourcing of some tasks to the private sector, appointment of an ombudsman, creation of financial incentives for civil servant relocation to remote areas of the country, computerization of ministries, employment of local manpower at Bangladeshi embassies for efficiency, retirement age increase in response to improvements in life expectancy, a constitutional mandate for a Civil Service Act, division of civil service into functional clusters to facilitate competition for awards and promotion, and creation of a senior-management pool.  While the government forwarded the report to the Establishment Division for implementation, it neglected its recommendation to streamline reform through an Administrative Performance Services Division modeled after its Malaysian equivalent and set up under the Prime Minister’s Office. Hussain believes centralization is key for successful administrative reform.  

Case Study:  Energizing the Civil Service: Managing at the Top 2, Bangladesh, 2006-2011

Profile

An economist by training, Syed Tanveer Hussain was trained for the civil service in Pakistan in 1970. He worked for the Bangladesh national government for 34 years. He held various high-ranking positions in the ministries of finance, planning, housing and public works, textiles and environment.  He served as census commissioner in 2001, and retired from public office as environment secretary in 2004.  He went on to work as a consultant for the World Bank and other international players through his firm, Climate Change Company.    

Full Audio File Size
56MB
Full Audio Title
Syed Tanveer Hussain Interview