The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Public Service Reforms Bear Fruits

The reforms in the public sector that have been underway for the past ten years, have had a positive impact on the public sector though challenges still remain, according to the study commissioned by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

The study was done to assess the impact of the reforms and challenges encountered between 1999 to 2009.

The report was released recently by the commission in Kigali.

The study shows there has been recruitment of better qualified and more competent public servants which has also been helped by capacity building programmes.

According to the study, competency of the workforce, degree holders in government increased from 6.4% in 1998 to 79% in 2005.

Thanks to the reforms, there are now simplified and flatter job classifications and salary structures as well as managerial hierarchies across all ministries, agencies and local government entities which has mitigated bureaucracy.

This made government institutions more efficient and more focused, the report states.

Despite these achievements, the civil service reforms has experienced various setbacks, including inability to retain the most qualified people due to attractive remuneration in both the private sector and in international organisations.

Other achievements of reforms, according to the report include the restructuring of local government entities which reduced the number of provinces from 12 to 5 and of districts from 104 to 30.

The study says this minimized the duplication of service delivery and redundancy of resources.

The report adds the reduction in the layers of bureaucratic decision-making in government has substantially reduced the red-tape and made government more responsive to the demands of the citizens.

It cited resistance to change among the other challenges to the implementation of the various reforms.

The PSC Executive Secretary, Angelina Muganza says the findings about government reforms will guide the next course of action.

An adviser in the commission, Olivier Mushimire says even if the reforms had good impact in all sectors, service delivery remains a problem and more effort will be employed to ensure improvement.

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