Saturday 10 April 2021
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Reducing foreign trips most highlighted in administrative directive

The Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila issued a directive – effective 1 February 2018 “on the promotion of efficiency in the administration of offices, ministries and agencies”.
The administrative directives that were issued by the Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila last year are being partially enforced by some government offices while official assessment of the implementation is still lacking.
Apart from the promotion of efficiency, the directive was also issued in line with Cabinet Directives to contain and stabilise the total personnel expenditure in the government.
“The Directive defines and outlines various policy measures and procedures pertaining to the control of personnel and other expenditure in the Public Service of Namibia and to enhance efficiency in the management and use of public resources,” the directive reads.
Ministry of Works and Transport Executive Director Willem Goeieman told The Patriot that he can already see results from the different cost-cutting efforts that came with the administrative directives.
Goeieman said that his ministry has cut drastically on overtime, which according to him was a big expense for the ministry.
He also said that in line with the directives, they have reduced the vehicles in the ministry’s fleet by sending the vehicles to the government garage.
He also said that they have reduced the cellphone benefits by restricting the benefit to only those it top management.
“The idea is really to cut cost. I have reduced foreign trips and even transport in general. We are even trying to restructure in different areas, just to make sure we are being efficient with what we have and not waste money,” Goeieman said.
He added that he will soon file an official assessment of the implementation of the directives with the office of the Prime Minister.
Spokesperson at the Prime Minister’s office said that they will have to check with each office, agency and ministry to establish the level of implementation of the directives and results of the implementation.
Ministry of Education Executive Director Sanet Steenkamp told The Patriot that while they have not done any formal assessment yet, the directives are being implemented strictly and the results are evident.
Steenkamp said that they have cut drastically on foreign trips from the minister to all employees of the ministry.
She added that it is a fact there has been a lot of wastage in government in the past and that the directives come as a corrective measure to totally cutting the wastage.
“Those who travel only do so for really necessary trips such as curriculum development capacity building training.”
She also said that there is continuous assessment on the whether the trip is necessary and on the size of the delegation.
“We can really see the improvement in these cost cutting measures,” Steenkamp said.
The directives are aimed at establishing adequate expenditure control systems, gradually reduce personnel and related expenses, encourage the reduction of daily subsistence and travel allowances and overtime expenses, reduce telephone expenses and transport expenses over three consecutive financial years starting at the last financial year.
The document says that the directive “shall be assessed on a quarterly basis by the Secretary and assessed on a quarterly basis by the Secretary to Cabinet as part of the performance review of Permanent Secretaries (now known as Executive Directors)”.
The office could however not provide The Patriot with the progress that came about since the directive was issued.
The administrative directive speaks largely to travel expenses, traveling by officials and the use of government vehicles.
The directive for example, states that executive directors – who are the accounting officers in the ministries – will decide whether to pay directly to accommodation establishments or directly to the staff member depending on the most economical option.
It also calls for an Asset Register for all movable and immovable state property on an annual basis. It further calls for staff members in the regions to be trained in stock taking so that staff members don’t have to be sent from head office or from one region to another for stock control at regional level.
The document also spoke about the creation of posts and filling of vacancies.
It states that the Minister of Finance will issue guidelines for capping personnel expenditure.

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