By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK – HAVING returned to office yesterday after the festive seasonal break, Prime Minister Nahas Angula remains steadfast in robustly improving one of the country’s largest sectors – the public service. Visioning the way forward for the New Year, the Premier described the activities of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) as one where public service management will require vast improvement in 2006. In an exclusive interview with New Era yesterday, Angula said he was not impressed with the progress made in creating an efficient and effective public service sector last year. Therefore, more needs to be done in changing the general “unproductive routine” of last year to being a more “productive one” . ” It’s a full plate this year where we will look at several policies and programmes. I am not happy with last year’s progress in the public sector because while some people work some don’t,” said the Premier. He added that plans are in place to look into a Performance Management Appraisal System this year where public companies will be held accountable. Besides looking into the public sector, the Premier plans to establish a National Institute of Management and Administration this year where there’ll be a statutory body that will focus on translating policies into tangible and workable programmes in the public service. “We therefore need to train people in public administration for efficiency and effectiveness,” added the Premier. Cabinet approved such a motion last year, when it was decided that a law be drafted and capital projects initiated in this regard. Other plans envisaged for this year by the OPM is revisiting the Black Economic Empowerment Policy, which the Premier rather refers to as “economic empowerment of the poor” . Regarding this as an urgent matter, the Prime Minister is adamant that “we have to deal with this programme where national resources are only in the hands of the few”. At the same time, a survey will also be conducted on how best to improve labour relations in the country. This will be done through developing social contracts between employers and employees in order to avoid the confrontation between the two when it comes to labour disputes. The Premier said that the Employment Creation Bill, which came as result of the high-level Employment Creation Forum held last year, will soon take effect. “We proposed to establish a bill to promote employment creation,” which will also go hand in hand with setting up a Productivity Centre where the latter will be under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication. In conclusion, the Premier noted that the Public Enterprises Act agreed upon by Parliament last year will also be waiting for the final signature of President Hifikepunye Pohamba this year. Once the Bill becomes law, it will enable public enterprises to be accountable by being part of transforming the economic sector of the country.
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