By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
The Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Dawda Fadera, has stated that the bad political governance of the past regime had a debilitating effect on macroeconomic stability and management of the country.
This, he added, was reflected in the poor fiscal discipline as evidenced by uncontrolled domestic borrowing to fund Government excesses and the frequent use of supplementary budgets to access significantly higher levels of total revenues than initially appropriated in the original budget and outright mismanagement of public resources.
The Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service was speaking at the official opening of a two days Permanent Secretaries Mid-Year Retreat 2017 at a local hotel in Brufut. The theme for this retreat is “Judicious Use of Resources for improved Performance and Sustainable development”.
The two days retreat according to officials, is meant to better prepare the sectors and other relevant stakeholders for a smooth transition from the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) to the National Development Plan (NDP) in this new dispensation.
Thus, a legacy of poor political and economic governance and declining public-sector effectiveness have created fundamental challenges for The Gambia as it embarks upon a new development and democratic trajectory under the stewardship of the newly elected government.
“In these two days we will have the opportunity to engage each other in active debate over the strategies which are needed to support our development aspirations especially, the National Development Plan. Hence, I wish to challenge, all of us here to craft a strategic direction and a communiqué which is not merely based on rhetoric, but one which is full of meaning and realistic guide to successfully achieving the National Development Plan,” Fadera added.
He said developing coherent policies and strategies, systems and structures and other development tools is critical to the realization of socio-economic development but even more critical is attitudinal change.
“Discipline and adherence to ethical standards as well as rational use of public resources are equally important. Key in all this is patriotism and loyalty, which calls for sacrifices, selflessness and commitments to national development agenda and welfare of others.
“It should be clear that no one but ourselves can help usher in meaningful and sustainable development the new Gambia called for. As top public servants we have to serve as role models in terms of output and moral uprightness in the execution of our duties. As the old adage goes” to whom much is given much is expected”. Therefore the responsibility to achieve the sector targets rest on our shoulders and we need to work together and complement each other,” SG Fadera stated.
For his part, the Permanent Secretary Personal Management Office (PMO) Pateh Jaw, spoke at length on the significance of the forum. The retreat, he added is meant to bring senior government officials to discuss pertinent issue towards national development.