Standard Operating Procedures

Thuli Madonsela

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1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Tristan Dreisbach
Name
Thuli Madonsela
Interviewee's Position
Former Public Protector, South Africa
Language
English
Town/City
Cambridge, Mass
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Thulisile Madonsela talks about how she transformed the office of public protector into a powerful anti-corruption agency. After a career working in the trade union movement and the Department of Justice, Madonsela became South Africa’s public protector in 2009. The office, established by the constitution in 1995, had a mandate to investigate government misconduct but had primarily worked on administrative justice cases. Faced with an influx of corruption complaints when she took office, Madonsela began to reorganize the agency to better handle that caseload. She identified three main problems she needed to solve: assigning more investigators to corruption cases, creating a triage function to sort through a growing number of complaints, and increasing impact at the level of local government. To achieve these goals, she had to change the culture and performance expectations within the office and secure more financial resources during a difficult period for South Africa’s economy. Madonsela reorganized the office to create an anti-corruption unit, developed triaging criteria, decentralized some functions to provincial offices, created standard operating procedures for investigators, revamped the staff training program, and recruited auditors and forensic investigators. As the reports she released gained attention and brought to light instances of high-level corruption, resistance to her work grew. Madonsela had to fend off accusations and threats and found it increasingly difficult to get resources from parliament. She took care to avoid attacking individuals in the media, to present the investigations as statements of fact, and to link acts of financial misconduct to the suffering of poor South Africans. A 2015 Supreme Court of Appeal ruling further empowered the public protector by declaring that agencies could not ignore the office’s recommendations for remedial action. 

Profile

Thulisile Madonsela received her law degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1990 and began her career in the trade union movement. She then moved to the Department of Justice, where she participated in the strategic planning process to transform the justice system in post-apartheid South Africa. Madonsela also was involved in the constitutional dialogue during the 1990s. In 2006, after several years in the private sector, she rejoined the Department of Justice as a law commissioner. In 2009, after a multi-party parliamentary committee backed her nomination, President Jacob Zuma appointed Madonsela public protector. She served a seven-year term in the office. In 2016, she began a fellowship at Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.

Full Audio Title
Thuli Madonsela Full Interview

Willy Mutunga

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27
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Maya Gainer
Name
Willy Mutunga
Interviewee's Position
Chief Justice
Language
English
Town/City
Nairobi
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Dr. Willy Mutunga discusses reform efforts in Kenya’s judiciary during his tenure as the Chief Justice of Kenya and President of the Kenyan Supreme Court.  He describes his main objectives for administrative reform under the new Constitution of 2010, including implementation of the Judiciary Transformation Framework, professionalizing the judicial bureaucracy, reducing corruption among personnel, and providing judges with more substantive training in judicial procedure and constitutional interpretation. Mutunga also describes challenges he and his colleagues faced in institutionalizing these reforms, including lingering tribal and ethnic loyalties, difficulties in getting regional courts to submit to oversight from Nairobi through forms and other monitoring programs, and competing interests among different constituencies within the judicial bureaucracy. He concludes by describing goals going forward, and which reforms he thinks are most at risk of being undone by future Chief Justices less interested in sustaining reform.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Dr. Willy Mutunga (b. 1947) was the incumbent Chief Justice of Kenya and President of the Kenyan Supreme Court. He was the first person to serve as Chief Justice since Kenya’s constitution was rewritten in 2010, taking up the post in June 2011, and retired from the judiciary in June 2016. Educated in Kenya, Tanzania, and Canada, he worked extensively in law, civil society, academia, and international development in Kenya and around the world before being named Chief Justice. As head of Kenya’s judiciary, his tenure was marked by numerous reforms, including professionalizing the judicial bureaucracy; reducing corruption, fraud, and absenteeism among judges and other personnel; and providing judges with more training in constitutional interpretation.

Full Audio File Size
60 MB
Full Audio Title
Willy Mutunga Interview

Changing a Civil Service Culture: Reforming Indonesia's Ministry of Finance, 2006-2010

Author
Gordon LaForge
Country of Reform
Abstract

By the mid-2000s, Indonesia had recovered from a devastating economic crisis and made significant progress in transitioning from a dictatorship to a democracy. However, the country's vast state bureaucracy continued to resist pressure to improve operations. In 2006, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono tapped economist Sri Mulyani Indrawati to transform Indonesia's massive Ministry of Finance, which was responsible not only for economic policy making but also for taxes and customs. During four years as minister, Mulyani introduced new standard operating procedures, raised civil servant salaries, created a new performance management system, and cracked down on malfeasance. Her reforms turned what had once been a dysfunctional institution into a high performer. But ongoing resistance illustrated the difficulties and perils of ambitious bureaucratic reform in Indonesia.

This case study was drafted by Gordon LaForge based on research by Rachel Jackson, Drew McDonald, Matt Devlin, and Andrew Schalkwyk and on interviews conducted by ISS staff members from 2009 to 2015. Case published May 2016. Other ISS case studies provide additional detail about certain aspects of the reforms discussed in this case or about related initiatives. For example, see Instilling Order and Accountability: Standard Operating Procedures at Indonesia's Ministry of Finance, 2006-2007.

Transforming the Courts: Judicial Sector Reforms in Kenya, 2011-2015

Author
Maya Gainer
Focus Area(s)
Core Challenge
Country of Reform
Abstract

When Willy Mutunga became Kenya’s chief justice in 2011, he made reductions in judicial delay and corruption top priorities. Drawing on previous plans to fix the same issues, Mutunga and his team developed a far-reaching reform program: the Judiciary Transformation Framework. Their goals included addressing administrative problems that had hindered citizens’ access to justice and opening up a historically closed institution to public engagement. Judges, magistrates, and court staff helped court registrars standardize and speed up administrative processes. Early efforts to introduce new technologies that would reduce delays—one of Kenya’s 2012–14 Open Government Partnership commitments—failed to achieve nationwide implementation. But the newly created Performance Management Directorate developed a case-tracking system that facilitated nationwide monitoring of delays and workloads. The newly established Office of the Judiciary Ombudsperson and strengthened Court Users’ Committees opened lines of communication for citizens to register complaints, suggest changes, and receive responses. Although many reforms were in early stages in 2015, Mutunga and his team developed and enacted policies that changed the ways the judiciary served the Kenyan public.

Maya Gainer drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Nairobi, Kenya, in September and October 2015. Case published November 2015.

Marwanto Harjowiryano

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2
Interviewers
Rushda Majeed
Name
Marwanto Harjowiryano
Language
English
Town/City
Jakarta
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Marwanto Harjowiryano describes institutional reforms in the Ministry of Finance, most notably the introduction of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Dr. Marwanto discusses the fiscal reforms and priorities throughout his career beginning in the early 1980s. The bulk of his interview details the structure and implementation of reforms in the ministry. He explains how the reformers distributed the power of the budget office by separating the Treasury, the Fiscal Balance Office and the Budget Office. Next the ministry introduced SOPs in every service that directly contacted the public, beginning with several quick wins or excellent services in every directorate-general. The ministry intended the SOPs to reduce and standardize service times, while also reducing corruption by establishing accountability regarding the cost and time of services. Within the ministry, evaluation teams ensured directorate-generals properly implemented their SOPs and made credible promises.  The ministry engaged with other government agencies to encompass various aspects of their reforms, and Dr. Marwanto describes these joint efforts. One challenge he describes is the difficulty of changing not only behavior but also culture, both within the directorate-general’s staff and among customers. A major element was human resources reform through the introduction of performance evaluations, and Dr. Marwanto details the steps of this initiative. He ends with comments on the sustainability and spirit of the reforms.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Dr. Marwanto Harjowiryano was Director-General of Fiscal Balance in the Ministry of Finance. He had recently served as an Executive Director at Asian Development Bank (ADB). He began his career with the Ministry of Finance in the early 1980s. He took on various roles in the ministry, including serving as the first spokesman for the ministry and as the Senior Advisor to the Minister of Finance under Sri Mulyani Indrawati. He then became the Chairman of Bureaucracy Reform, the position he describes in this interview. Dr. Marwanto earned a doctoral degree from Gadjah Mada Graduate University in Yogyakarta, where he also completed his bachelor’s degree in economics. During his time in the ministry he obtained a master’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University.

Instilling Order and Accountability: Standard Operating Procedures at Indonesia's Ministry of Finance, 2006-2007 (Bahasa Translation Available)

Author
Rushda Majeed
Country of Reform
Translations
Language
Bahasa
Abstract

Studi kasus ini juga, Menerapkan Aturan Dan Akuntabilitas: Standar Operasional Prosedur Di Kementerian Keuangan Republik Indonesia, 2006-2007, tersedia dalam Bahasa Indonesia.

In 2006, Indonesian economist Sri Mulyani Indrawati took on a huge and knotty problem: bringing order and efficiency to the Indonesian Ministry of Finance, an organization of 64,000 employees. At the time, many Indonesian citizens viewed the ministry as corrupt and unaccountable, exemplifying the failures of the entire government. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had appointed Mulyani because of her reputation as a tough-minded reformer and a savvy manager. Mulyani ascribed the ministry’s weak and inconsistent handling of taxes, customs and other services to a shortage of clear and consistent procedures for the many tasks employees handled. A key element of her strategy was to simplify and standardize ministry processes in order to improve employee performance and accountability. During the next two years, Mulyani and her team initially focused their efforts on 35 priority services that citizens used heavily, and then they expanded the reforms to include other activities. By 2007, the ministry had developed and implemented nearly 7,000 standard operating procedures. The changes significantly improved public services and earned popular acclaim for both the ministry and the Yudhoyono government. This case shows how a strong leader and her reform team introduced new ways of working to achieve significant gains in service efficiency, quality and fairness.

 

Rushda Majeed drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Jakarta, Indonesia, in November and December 2011, and on a 2009 interview of Sri Mulyani Indrawati by Matthew Devlin and Andrew Schalkwyk. Case published April 2012.

Associated Interview(s):  Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Robert Pakpahan