Remote-Control Service Delivery Unacceptable

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The situation of Government supervisors remote-controlling the execution of service delivery in rural areas is one of the concerns expressed by the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture to its top lieutenants. The Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, John Mutorwa, expressed this serious concern in an internal memo to the top management in his ministry early last month. “During last year, the ministry’s top leadership undertook several familiarization trips to the regions. It was encouraging that some of the regional staff continue to deliver good public service, despite many odds and shortcomings,” he stated. “It has however also been observed and recorded that regrettably many of the ministry’s staff, notably in the regions, execute their work under conditions of no direction, encouragement and or supervision at all, from their supervisors at and from the ministry’s headquarters in Windhoek,” Mutorwa noted. Adding: “This situation is unacceptable and must be rectified forthwith. Directors are professional managers and must therefore manage and supervise their staff at all times directly or indirectly.” The Minister urged his ministry to fill all budgeted-for vacancies as a matter of urgency. “The ministry has been specifically mandated to provide services to the Namibian people and more so the youth in skills training, arts, culture, heritage, sport and youth empowerment,” he reminded his staff. Motorwa called for effective, regular and clear communication within his ministry. “Prompt and timely responses to correspondence, queries and inquiries from the public are fundamental and must be seen as forming the core of a professional, effective, efficient and sound administrative and management system. Why should it take weeks, months or even years to acknowledge receipt of a letter? Truth of the matter is, there is no justification for such unnecessary long periods to accomplish tasks,” the minister said in the memo. The minister recommended the following as priorities in his ministry for 2006: the appointment of directors for the National Youth Service of Namibia; the appointment of members of the National Heritage Council; courses and training programmes; renovation and construction of infrastructure at Berg Aukas; the recruitment of the next intakes of youths; the proper coordination of various arts programme activities, especially those carried out under the National Extension Arts Programme; and also the planning and preparation of Zone V1 Games and the Commonwealth Games.