Ministry of Labor sets cornerstone for Somali Civil Service Reform

Sep 14, 2015

UNDP Deputy Country Director David Akopyan (speaking) addresses ministerial counterparts at the Ministry of Labor. From L – R Seated Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Health, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and Minister of Gender and Human Rights. Standing next to David is the Director General MOLSA.

Mogadishu, 11 September 2015 – The Federal Government of Somalia, United Nations, and donor partners celebrated the inaugural meeting of a multi-partner commission tasked by the Federal Government to amend the Civil Service Law Number 11. This law provides a detailed outline of the practice and procedures in relation to the Civil Service and state employees - including conditions of service, remuneration and incentive frameworks, performance and civil service management, and training and development. With the full support of partners including the Ministry Planning and International Cooperation, National Civil Service Commission, Ministry of Finance, Labor and Social Affairs, and community-based labor experts, the Commission aims to transform the civil service by updating the civil service law and enabling government to effectively address the current and emerging realities in Somalia.

The important event welcomed the participation of five ministers, two state ministers, several deputy ministers and Permanent Secretaries and Directors General, and Commission members. Dignitaries were ‘challenged’ by H.E. Honorable Minister for Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA), Abdiweli Ibrahim Sheikh Mudey to approach the task with great commitment and diligence. “Speed is of the essence, yet the ministry fully supported an iterative process that is inclusive, participatory and transparent,” he said. He confirmed that this is the first initiative of this kind in decades and is likely to change the face of government in Somalia.

David Akopyan, UNDP Deputy Country Director, echoed the Minister’s sentiments. “UNDP’s Strengthening Institutional Performance Project is working directly with government counterparts to strengthen government institutions in Somalia – not only supporting the renovation and construction of physical infrastructure but also building the institutions, systems, processes and people within government,” he said. “This civil service law sets an important building block for Somalia’s long-term development goals.”

Using international and regional best practice as a point of reference, the Commission chaired by Mohamed Adde Mukhtar, MOLSA Director General, seeks to ‘modernize’ the Civil Service Law to accommodate recent stabilization, peace-building and democratization/governance efforts undertaken by the government. The amendment process will also update civil service management policies and procedures ensuring that government will be able to carry out its service delivery mandate with greater efficiency and effectiveness. Supported by civil service management expertise from UNDP’s Strengthening Institutional Performance Project (SIP), the amendment process will also introduce vital elements of human resource planning for immediate, as well as future, civil service staffing needs. These incremental building blocks towards a professional civil service will generate measures of stability, sustainability and confidence in civil servants and their ultimate beneficiaries – the Somali citizenry.

The Minister of Health, H.E. Hawa Hassan applauded the initiative. “There has never been a greater need, than at this time, for a government of unity and solidarity where it can rightly begin to focus outwardly on the needs of the Somali people,” she said.

With support from UK-DFID, EU and Sweden, the SIP Project works to rebuild Somali institutions, including a strong and transparent civil service. Gareth Rannamets from the British Embassy for Somalia added his support from the perspective of the donor community. Mr. Rannamets noted the MOLSA nominated Commission as the beginning of a long and important journey for the government of Somalia, to consolidate a fragmented civil service into a coherent whole where the machinery of government will deliver, with time and opportunity, according to international norms and standards. “Good governance is premised upon solid foundations found in policy and institutions enabled to implement this policy,” he said.

Contact information

Albert Soer, Program Manager, UNDP Strengthening Institutional Performance Project, albert.soer@undp.org.

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