The signing of performance agreements by ministers, their deputies and other public office bearers was postponed to October 1 – with government officials saying there are still important details that need ironing out.
“We need the remaining days of this month to finalise one-on-one consultations with ministries in order to ensure that they streamline these agreements with their strategic plans,” Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said at the close of a strategic two-day ministerial retreat at Daan Viljoen Resort that ended on Sunday.
“We will also allow President Hage Geingob to have one-on-one consultations with ministers so that they fully understand and take ownership of the content of the performance agreements. The signing will not take place today.
This is not because there is a change of heart about the issue or a lack of commitment.
“It is because some activities need to be finalised before we’re in a position to sign these performance agreements. It’s our intention that before the end of September we have all the agreements ready that the ministers can sign with the president, so that come October 1 we can commence with the activities within the context of the agreements,” she said.
The prime minister said the aim is not to remain fixated on processes and procedures, but rather to assess what has been achieved thus far and to determine whether the ministries are on track, or lagging behind, in order to see if there is a need to change gears, or make adjustments.
She said although government is eager to bring development to the country, its partnership with the private sector, with civil society and individual citizens, needs to be nurtured to realise the country’s developmental goals. “Next year we’ll have agreements for a whole year, but we don’t want to wait for next year, so we decided to start this year… I want to assure the public that the commitment we made with these agreements is to strive high.
“The commitments we made to deliver prosperity, and to the development of Namibia in terms of Vision 2030, should be understood and it should not be expected that by the signing of one agreement all the problems of the country would be resolved.”
“We should understand what the output targets are for each year and try to understand that it is those final and individual steps that will take us to the final destination,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.
Vice-President Nickey Iyambo officially closed the retreat and said the emphasis should shift from a preoccupation with processes, procedures and formalities, to achieving tangible results to strengthen democracy.
He said their promise to the electorate was to deliver quality public services and amenities through efficiency and effectiveness: “It is for this reason the performance management measurement and improvement system is now a norm of governance, which will be implemented through the signing of the performance agreements.”
He said with the new insights, tools and perspectives gained from the retreat the country’s leaders would not be found wanting when it comes to providing effective leadership to senior civil servants, with a view to obtaining concrete results.
“They will in turn pass on such results-orientated leadership to subordinates, cascading down all the way to the lowest ranks of the civil service, including cleaners and messengers,” he said.
Minister of Presidential Affairs Frans Kapofi told New Era that the two-day retreat was very useful, productive and an eye-opener, especially to those ministers and deputies that recently assumed office. “It gave us a boost and energised us, and all those that hang around in the public service, to embrace the agenda of the president who says: ‘Let’s work towards the prosperity of the people.’
“It is a big mind-shift,” Kapofi said.