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).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
He admonished all political parties, independent candidates and every other individual to keep it in their minds that it is only the NEC is clothed with the constitutional authority to announce official results of elections. “The NEC is also pleased with news reports that the campaign spokesperson of the CDC recognizes that the NEC is the only body in this country that has the powers to release official elections,” he acknowleged.Responding to reports about the commissioners’ recent meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at her private residence, before she departed for the UN General Assembly in the US, Korkoya told reporters that there was no need for the public to harbor any fear ahead of the October polls.“President Sirleaf is not a terrorist. She is still our sitting head of state, who has a fish to fry in these elections,” Korkoya said.He said the NEC’s security, finances and logistics are provided by the national government, which is headed by the President, to whom respect is due.“During the meeting,” he said, “we pleaded with the President to meet with our magistrates, so she could reiterate her resounding call for transparency, credibility and fairness in these elections. Nothing more as speculations out there may have it. I say it makes no sense for someone to think that we have been intimidated or influenced by Madam Sirleaf to do anything negative with these elections,” he noted.For his part, a member of the Board of Commissioners, Boakai Dukuly said if Liberians continue to not trust themselves as a nation that good things can happen, it means that the nation is headed to nowhere.“If we don’t have confidence in ourselves that we can be like the Ghanaians, Americans and others we so dearly respect here, we will not build this country,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) National Elections Commission (NEC) chairman Jerome George Korkoya Korkoya: “President Sirleaf Not a Terrorist”Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), has advised the Unity Party (UP), which has planned to conclude its campaign rallies on the 7th of October, to look at other options as the Alternative National Congress (ANC) is the party scheduled by NEC to hold a grand rally on that date. “In the interest of public safety, the NEC has informed the UP that it should look at other options for holding its rally,” he said, noting that, “the Commission has written a letter to the UP asking them to reconsider their decision and we are certain that they will do the right thing in the interest of peace.”Speaking at the NEC regular press briefing yesterday, Cllr. Korkoya said the official campaign period ends on Sunday, October 8, at 11:59 p.m. and, going forward, including Tuesday October 10, no campaign will be allowed anywhere in the 43,000 square miles of the country. “Section 5.1b of the Regulations and Guidelines relating to political parties and independent candidates advises that all political campaigns end midnight on Sunday, 8 October 2017,” he noted.Addressing other electoral issues, Korkoya maintained that preparations for the holding of the elections as time-lined by the NEC are on course and will remain as announced. “The final batch of ballot papers for the House of Representatives is scheduled to arrive on today (October 4). The delay of bringing into the country remaining ballot papers was largely due to the irregular size of the ballot papers in few electoral districts in Montserrado County that have up to 28 candidates,” he said, noting further that the problem has been resolved and all ballots are printed and will be in the country. The arrival of those final ballot papers, as noted by the NEC chair, concludes the procurement of external elections materials for these elections.He said the deployment of elections materials is ongoing ad security for them is tight at all warehouses across the country.“We are aware of news reports that some individuals, including some politicians, have questioned the integrity of our electoral systems in the media regarding the number of ballot papers printed. Although we have sufficiently addressed this question prior, the Commission would like to, once more, reassure political parties, all stakeholders and voters that there is no question related to the integrity of the number of ballot papers being deployed,” he said. He added that printing contingency ballots are consistent with industry standard practice.Korkoya assured the general public that there are full accountability mechanisms in place to account for every single ballot paper. “Every ballot paper will be accounted for at opening and closing of polling places. Those that will be used, not used and spoilt will be fully accounted for in a transparent and consistent manner,” he emphasized.He reported that the Commission has also taken delivery of a shipment of electronic equipment from South Africa including a set of photocopiers that is part of building a stronger institution. “I would like to thank the government and people of South Africa for this donation,” he said, adding that the pieces of equipment were donated to the NEC through the kind request by President Sirleaf to the government of South Africa. “I would like to thank H.E. the President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for her formal request to the government of South Africa for these equipment on her official visit there,” he said.He said the training of 17,000 polling staffs, including presiding officers is ongoing across the country and will end on October 6 and 7.