Namibia: Govt Moves to Curb Bureaucracy

9 November 2018

Windhoek — In its effort to curb bureaucracy and to accelerate provision of service delivery, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila told parliamentarians on Wednesday that government has turned to the application of e-governance.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said this in Parliament while contributing to the motion on bureaucracy of public institutions that hampers efficient public service delivery.

"Government does not condone delays nor does it support bottlenecks in the system of public service delivery, she said, adding that some operators in government and private sector, often justify delays with the need to comply with laws.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said: "While we recognise the need to comply with laws, which is good for governance, we also value expediency in service delivery."

"Laws and regulations cannot be used as reasons to prolong delivery of services, but they should be complied with to ensure accountability and transparency in a manner that does not cause undue delays," said the Prime Minister.

As an example, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said, "While the laid down procedures require amongst others that certain positions are advertised to allow potential candidates an equal chance to apply, such a process can be significantly streamlined."

She said government have now re-engineered this process to ensure that vacancies are filled timeously in order that the work of the offices, ministries and agencies are not hampered due to lengthy recruitment processes that result in critical positions remaining vacant and thus eroding capacity of Offices Ministries and Agencies (OMAs) to effectively and efficiently render services.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said last week she launched an online service to be operated under the Ministry of Home Affairs to cater for death registrations.

She said other online services so far implemented in government include Electronic Data and Records Management System (EDRMS); Online Visa and Permits Application; Online Business Registration; National Single Window; Integrated Client Service Facility; Online Deeds Registration; Online Applications for NSFAF; Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS); e-Health; e-Justice; and e-Birth notification.

She said the implementation of the above-mentioned online systems are at various stages, and those experiencing challenges are receiving attention, and once these are resolved, they expect to see significant improvement in service delivery.

To address challenges in management of human resources, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the implementation of the human capital management system (HCMS) was undertaken.

"Albeit faced with delivery challenges at this point, government is committed to ensure an effective rollout of this important reform tools," she told fellow MPs.

She said also State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) reform is being undertaken through the legal framework, the SOE Reform Bill, which is currently before the National Assembly.

She said the implementation and deployment of these systems reduce turnaround times and lead to improved services.

"Government continues to identify and invest in developing more online services in order to make services more and easily accessible," she said.

The Prime Minister said in 2017, government undertook a customer satisfaction survey.

She said although this survey only covered 19 service sectors of OMAs, regional councils and State-Owned Enterprises, it provided a measure on how the public perceives the government services.

"A score of 54 percent was achieved, which although it fall short of a minimum score of 64 percent, has enabled us to develop remedial action plans to bring about improvements where they were found to be needed," she said.

She said concerned public entities will report on the progress made to address those identified challenges.

"Government has committed to run customer satisfaction surveys every two years, and also to broaden the scope of service sectors covered beyond the services so far covered," she said.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said to ensure optimal performance in the public sector, a performance management system has been put in place in all OMAs and regional councils.

This, she said will involve mandatory Strategic Plans, Annual Plans and individual performance agreements for both public office bearers and staff members.

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