I am very privileged to be part of the Ministry of Public Service (MoPS) in the capacity of Minister of State for Public Service. This Ministry is mandated to lead the continuous development of the Public Service of Uganda through the design and implementation of effective Policies, Systems, and Structures that provide for an effective and harmonised Public Service that delivers timely, cost effective, affordable services that are responsive to the needs of the citizens at all levels.
The Ministry of Public service has implemented several programs aimed at improving service delivery that has impacted tremendously on the citizens. These include:
- Automated and Decentralised payroll (Salary, gratuity and pension) management which resulted in timely payment of salaries, pension and gratuity, reduction in the time taken to access payroll by new employees and pensioners and reduction in ghost workers and pensioners.
- Streamlined Government structures and systems to eliminate duplication and redundancy through comprehensive restructuring of Local Governments (LGs) and annual restructuring in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)
- Decentralised commonly sought- for- Services closer to the Citizens through establishment of Service Uganda Centres (One-Stop Centres for Public Service delivery).
- Strengthened Political Supervision and Client feedback Mechanism through joint political monitoring in Central and Local Government votes.
- Constructed National Records Centre and Archives (NRCA) Phase I. Plans are under way to ensure that it is equipped and fully staffed.
- The Uganda Public Service Standing Orders (UPSSOs) have been reviewed
- Capacity Building Framework and Capacity Building Plan for the Public Service with support from ENABEL has been developed.
- Strengthened the in-service training function of Government at Civil Service College – Uganda (CSCU). The college provides in-service training for all civil servants. The use of the caravan approach helped to reach more trainees without necessarily coming to the college which has increased demand for training services at the college.
A lot of achievements have been realized so far with the implementation of the above programs. Compliance to regulations and policies is steadily picking, staff attendance to duty is better, and Service Uganda Centre has greatly improved customer service at the Ministry and complain handling is now evaluated on a daily basis. We shall adhere to building systems, regulations and policies to make this sector more vibrant.
There is a renewed sense of commitment from Government to ensure that Public Servants are well remunerated and a five year Salary enhancement plan was approved by Cabinet and its being implemented in a phased manner.
As we start the a new financial year of our operations, we want to go beyond providing the basics to our people and deliver public services in a more qualitative, comfortable and citizen-centric manner. To do this requires new approaches towards ensuring citizens’ satisfaction with the work of civil servants and to elevate the quality of relationship between civil servants and the general public.
H.E the President during our inauguration issued five key priority areas that we must deliver on as Government.
- Enhancing the spirit of cohesion and partnership. We are counting on Government institutions and Agencies to strengthen and support implementation of Government programs to move our country to middle income status. But perhaps the biggest change required, is one of culture and mindset change for our civil servants. Governments will need to make strategic investments in services that meet tomorrow’s needs as well as today’s. Creating solutions that do not currently exist, to meet the needs which haven’t fully evolved is a priority but also a burden. This would call for public private partnership. Where looking after the customer who is likened to the best examples of customer service and innovative business models leaving no one behind and this requires concerted efforts. Delivering as a whole of Government and partnership with the private sector is critical.
- H.E the President emphasized that the National Vision 2040 cannot be achieved if the vices of corruption and fraud are not dealt with at the strategic, institutional and individual levels. These vices are known for stunting development, distorting official decisions, escalating poverty as well as contributing to inefficiency and economic waste including undermining administrative effectiveness and a threat to service delivery. As government we envisage an effective and efficient Public Service that will deliver our national vision and this cannot be achieved if we don’t deal with corruption and Ministry of Public Service is key.
- Fostering social-economic integration in order to address the issue of the prosperity of our people and strategic security of Africa, in addition to other considerations. As Ministry of Public Service and the entire Civil service we should be on the lookout for synergies across the globe that make us more effective and improve our productivity to deliver better services to our people.
- Patriotism is another focus for the Service. It implies loving Uganda and rejecting sectarianism of religion or tribe as well as gender chauvinism; this is, among other things, to ensure, that the services we deliver to Ugandans are available without any hindrances .The future of government services should focus on a customer-centric, instant, interactive, digital and innovative services. Only a patriotic individual /civil servant would deliver such services.
- Effective and efficient service delivery .The future of government service delivery presents both challenges and many opportunities especially amidst this COVID-19 pandemic. As we deliver services to Ugandans, we need to gain a thorough understanding of how people relate to and interact with public authorities, as well as how government entities can proactively develop programs to meet those needs in this trying time. In many ways, this journey is only just beginning. But when Governments truly manage to add value rather than just deliver services, the benefits will be felt by everyone. This is everyone’s responsibility.
As Government of Uganda, we are indeed convinced that embracing collective responsibility will help us to address the service delivery challenges and the recurrent Covid -19 threats as well as delivery of customer centric public services that now more than ever are required by the citizens.
With those key incites, I wish to invite you to explore the Ministry of Public Service website. Since it is interactive, I expect feedback from you to make it better for improved public service delivery.
For God and my Country.
Hon. Grace Mary Mugasa Akiiki.
Minister of State Public Service.