Thabane swiftly dusts off public sector reform



MASERU – Prime Minister Motsoahae Thabane has convened an urgent high-level meeting to validate the Public Sector and Improvement and Reform Programme (PSIRP).

The meeting, to be held on May 9, comes on the back of media reports that government’s patchy and slow implementation of the public sector reform programme, mean that the European Union (EU)’s proposed M50 million plus support could be withheld.

Public Eye reported in April that a concept paper PSIRP had been gathering dust in the Government Secretary (GS) Moahloli Mphaka’s office since last year.

The paper later reported that Lesotho was perilously close to losing M50 million the EU has earmarked for financing PSIRP owing to official bungling.

“The Right Hon. The Prime Minister of Lesotho Motsoahae Thomas Thabane cordially invites you to a public sector reform and improvement validation meeting,” reads an invitation to the meeting.

According to the invitation, the speakers will be Minister of Public Service Semano Sekatle, Minister of Local Government Litšoane Litšoane, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Temeki Tšolo, Minister of Agriculture Mahala Molapo, Minister of Finance Dr Moeketsi Majoro, representatives of District Administrators (DAs) and representatives of councillors.

The discussants will be Minister of Health Nkaku Kabi, Minister of Education Professor Ntoi Rapapa, Minister of Development Planning Tlohelang Aumane and EU Ambassador to Lesotho Dr Christian Manahl.

The envisioned goal of the PSIRP – a three-year programme – is “a local governance system where communities are empowered and are championing their own development, working with and through effective local governments, effective civil society, effective local governance structures and a viable and widespread network of community based service providers”.

This is according to official government documents, copies of which Public Eye has seen.

The documents state: “The government is aware that public management reforms remain a key component and pre-condition for Lesotho’s evolution into the Melupe scenario spelled out in the Vision 2020.

“For this reason, the government will continue to pursue the objectives of the NSDP (National Strategic Development Plan) by prioritising the implementation of the PSIRP albeit though a more decentralised approach that promotes co-creation in purpose and accountability between state and non-state actors.”

The first PSIRP was implemented in the financial year 2003/2004.

More than 15 years later, evidence shows that the first PSIRP programme had serious crippling challenges, especially in the areas of decentralisation, public financial management and public services management and therefore resulted in nominal yields.

It is against this background that the Office of Prime Minister decided to redefine the programme and build the capacity of state and non-state actors to understand the new PSIRP and to define roles and responsibilities in its implementation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *