PUBLIC Service minister John Dean Kuku says some reforms to improve public service performances are ready underway.
He revealed this in parliament.
These reforms include:
(1) The Performance Management Policy (PMP)
The management performance policy is aiming at improving performance at organisational, unit and individual levels.
The Annual Confident Report (ACR) was the first public service performance management system, introduced in the eighties.
However, a survey carried out by the Ministry in year 2011 shows that ACR performance management system is out of date as it fails to address modern performance management practices, for instance one-on-one performance discussion between supervisor and subordinate or linking job descriptions to corporate goals.
The identification of such critical gaps led to the establishment of a revised individual performance management policy and procedure.
Similar to any created management system that addresses people’s behaviour, the piloting of this business process confronted few challenges, particularly at the initial stage of the process, because the newly revised PMP needs to change the long embraced culture of ‘closed doors’ approach in appraising performance to one that is collaborative and on-going.
The minister stated that the revised performance management policy does not operate in isolation but is essentially linked to performance recognition based on merit.
(2) The revised Absence Management Policy
The Absence Management Policy objective is to improve public officers’ attendance to work.
Successive Solomon Islands Government and the general public has increasingly recognises the significant costs associated with high levels of work place absenteeism across the public service offices
. But despite the growing concern on absenteeism, the reality on the ground is the non-availability of data on both absenteeism and the direct cost on lost productivity.
MPS is committed its resources in collaborating with all ministries and agencies to address the challenge of work place absenteeism.
(3) Discipline Management
Maintaining a well-disciplined public service is increasingly challenging as we are recruiting diversified workforce whose values and interest may not be in accordance to what the Service Code of Conduct (SCC) expects.
In that regard, the MPS noted with appreciation the recommendation from the Public Accounts report that the ministry explores other means of expending the handling of disciplinary cases.
The recommendation is precisely in line with DCCG policy and therefore MPS is taking this recommendation head-on by considering current discipline mechanisms without depriving the officer in question the constitutional right to be heard, thus maintaining natural justice to those concern.
MPS is gradually increasing its human capacity, alone with needed incentives to expedite dealings with discipline cases. We can therefore be assured that disciplinary matters will be swiftly concluded with much confidence.
(4) Remuneration Policy
MPS will soon carry out a functional analysis exercise to find out and put right duplication of duties.
This will be followed by an occupational classification exercise.
A match between functional analysis and occupational classification will determine the remuneration package.
Whatever reforms carried out by MPS is the Minister’s duty to ensure that they must be professionally, ethically as well as work and people focused.
(5) The New Public Service Bill
The minister for MPS said that they are looking forward to major reform that will be undertaken by the ministry to repeal and replace the Public Service Act (Cap 92), while maintaining and strengthening the effectiveness of existing policy and clarifying responsibilities.
Mr Kuku the bill is in draft form and as part of the Ministry’s consultation Members of Parliament they will be provided the draft for their input.
He said the DCC government intends to table the Bill in Parliament sooner than later.
By AATAI JOHN