As part of its initiative to pave way for the new Public Service Improvement Reform Programme (PSIRP), the government of Lesotho through the Prime Minister’s Office held a preparatory meeting with District Administrators (DAs) and District Council Chairpersons (DCCs) at Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru on Tuesday.
Addressing the participants, the Government Secretary (GS), Mr. Moahloli Mphaka said DAs and DCCs have the power to ensure the success of the programme, expressing need for the government to connect with them as they work directly with people at grassroots level, and therefore noted that without the offices of the DA and Councilors, the government cannot achieve its mandate.
He highlighted that individuals entrusted by the public to deliver services should take their responsibilities seriously, commenting that government is like a private company which has investors (who in this case is the public) and expect profit (that he said is quality services). He therefore urged all to work towards ensuring delivery of quality services which he said the public deserves to receive.
Mr. Mphaka stressed the need to put in place policies that will ensure accountability and quality service delivery in the country, saying an accountable person becomes transparent and a transparent person is able to report, hence noted that it is the responsibility of the individuals appointed to administrative positions to report to the public.
Also speaking was Mr. Tṡoele Mpopo, the Director Pitsong Institute of Implementation Research, who expressed concern that 13 years after introduction of local councils and offices of the DAs, service delivery in the public sector is still poor, attributing this failure to poor implementation of the decentralisation policy that he said is not fully functional hence the two offices cannot differentiate their responsibilities from one other.
He therefore urged both offices (DAs and DCCs) to each establish their responsibilities so that they become in control of what they are mandated to do, stressing that for PSIRP to be successful, there is a need for political will as the programme is intended to bring change in the public sector and ensure improved service delivery.
Meanwhile, the DAs and DCCs raised concern that lack of resources hinders their progress thus resulting in their failure to deliver and be effective in their work. They also attributed failure to public servants whom they said are in control of the decentralization policy thus making them powerless though entrusted to have power to ensure smooth governance at councils.
The PSIRP is a three-year programme intended to improve service delivery, transparency, unity, peace, good governance and collective accountability for the Vision 2020. It aims to among others provide an intergovernmental relations framework between the government and local government to enable accountability for improved service delivery.