The Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA) last Friday certified 25-newly recruited directors of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) in strategic leadership and management in the public sector, known as Induction Training Course for Directors.
The intensive weeklong orientation training is part of the new recruits’ 90-day probation on their academic and criminal records set by the MFDP, as well as a way to formally induce them in the public sector reforms of the country.
Established in 1969, LIPA is the government’s center for capacity building of civil servants and the institutions at which they work.
The training ran from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and representatives from the Civil Service Agency and the Governance Commission were part of the lecturing staff in the training.
Some of the topics expected to be taught include: Code of Conduct, Public Financial Management Law and Regulations, Public Procurement Law and Management and Effective Organizational Communication and Time Management as well as Introduction to Public Sector Reforms, Civil Service Standing Order and Public Administration.
The 25 newly recruited directors are Kpambu P. Turay, Dede D. Sandiman, Alice Williams, Gbawou C. Kowou, IV, Sidiki A. Quisia, D. Emmanuel Williams, II, Zoegar Q. Janyes, Comfort Erskine-Elliot and Lorpu Pewu-Sworh.
Others were Alphonso B. Teah, Frederick B. Krah, Romeo D.N. Gbartea, Nathan F. Reeves, II, J. Mac-Nixon Flomo, Benedict D. Roberts, Bobby E. Musah, Gweh G. Tarwon and Varmu A. Reeves. The remaining directors include Ojuku T. Nyenpan, Jeremiah Barkemeni Sackie, Anthony G. Myers, Habib M. Sherif, Jesse B. Korboi, Theophilus Addey and William C. Mansfield.
The newly recruited directors are all employees of the former Ministry of Finance but were recruited through a competitive vetting process recently to beef up the newly established MFDP.
They have been classified into four groups: Departments of Fiscal Affairs, Administration, Economic Management and Budget & Planning.
The Department of Fiscal Affairs has nine distinct operational offices, to including Directors of Non-Tax Revenue, Indirect Taxation, Modeling &Forecast, Direct Taxes, Fiscal Decentralization, Financial Approval, Treasury Services, Financial Regulations and Accounting Services.
The Department of Budget & Development Planning has the second largest operational squad, namely the Directors of Budget Policy &Coordination, Social and Community Services, Economic Services, Public Administration Services, Regional & Sectoral Services, Public Investment, Monitoring & Evaluation and Planning, Development & Coordination.
Others include the Directors of Administration, Human Resource, Budget and Finance Integrity, which are under the Department of Administration; while the Directors of Aid Management, Economic Policy and Microeconomics and Financial Policy are part of the Department of Economic Management.
The Director General of LIPA, Mr. Oblayon Nyemah, spoke strongly on what he called gaps in the national government and budgetary constraints being faced by LIPA.
Mr. Nyemah said LIPA is also facing logistical constraints, arguing that for over five years there have been no vehicles for senior directors and there isn’t a bus for the general staffers.
The LIPA boss urged the trainees to take on the challenge of being principal directors because they are the highest-ranking civil servants. “You are the ones the country depends on to make decisions; it is not the political leaders, because they are not stable,” he said.
The LIPA Director General said LIPA is trying to give the Civil Servants an approach that compasses steps and glades because there are numbers of factors that make up a good civil service; one can has the academic qualifications but lacks the skill set to do a practical piece of job.
“All civil and public servants once recruited must benefit from orientation about the Civil Service Standing Order, Procurement Laws, Code of Order and other courses before going for confirmation and being employed,” the LIPA boss said. “This was a system that the country had but due to the many disruptions and interruptions in the country, governance of democracy has a big question mark on some of the unique practices.”
He added: “If we want an effective, efficient and honest civil servants, they all need to pass through the walls of LIPA like as is done in other West African countries.
Dr. David Kialain, a consultant at the Governance Commission (GC), urged the Directors to be professional in their jobs, a point made by the Deputy Director General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA), Othello Wah.
For his part, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Amara Konneh, hailed the GC, CSA and LIPA for the merger of the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Development Planning.
He urged the newly recruited Directors to avoid employing ‘bag boys’ and only employ staffers from within the Ministry who should only be College or University graduates.
Minister Konneh also admonished the Directors to work assiduously and professionally for the betterment of the country and the Ministry.
Directors Zoegar Jaynes and Alice E. Williams, speaking separately on behalf of the Directors, thanked LIPA for the training as well as the CSA and GC, and assured Minister Konneh of their determination to do conscientious and honest work.
However, besides the training of the 25 newly recruits Directors of MFDP, LIPA has also ended the completion of training of 41 top officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN).