Office location no excuse for underperformance – PM

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Windhoek

The lack of modern government offices should not be used to justify underperformance in the public service, cautioned Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

She made the remark on Thursday last week at the Office of the Prime Minister’s (OPM) annual opening staff meeting where staff members expressed concern that offices of the OPM are scattered all over town, which makes coordination of activities extremely difficult.

Staff members charged that the OPM is disjointed in terms of location and as a result it hinders efficiency.
Responding to the concerns, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said officials in government must use available resources efficiently instead of using office space as an excuse to justify underperformance.

“When you talk about efficiency people tell you about what they do not have, but we must be mindful that it is important that we first make optimal use of the resources at our disposal,” she said.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said despite OPM departments being scattered all around, there is still room for improvement in terms of performance.

“With the offices we have, can we really say we cannot improve our performance anymore? I do not think so…we can still improve significantly. We are not going to accept the office situation as a justification for performance targets not met,” she said.

She said it is not only the OPM that has office troubles, but cautioned that investing heavily in building government offices could jeopardise other critical projects that need to be undertaken.

“We must understand that the resources available to us are less than the work that needs to be done. Therefore, we cannot say all ministries must have modern office to perform otherwise all the money will go towards building offices at the expense of building schools and other social needs,” she said.

The actual construction of the N$600 million modern prime minister’s office building will commence this year.
So far phase one, which is the bulk excavation works on the 83 000 square metre area, has been completed.

Permanent secretary in the OPM, Nangula Mbako, said at the meeting that the process of appointing a contractor is underway and construction will commence in the next financial year.

“We already went to the tender board and an expression of interest was called. The applications were evaluated and now we are busy sorting the companies so that we can source quotations for the work,” said Mbako.

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