BPSR DG advises LASG on best options for reforms of public service

By Margaret Tyam

The Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dasuki Arabi, has reiterated the determination of the Federal Government to transform the public service to provide world class services to the people.

Arabi said this when he interacted with a Lagos State Government delegation who were at the Bureau in Abuja, to seek ways of strengthening the state public service.

Arabi who spoke virtually with the delegation, said the reform initiative was to ensure effectiveness in policy implementation, professionalism, integrity, excellence and passion to secure sustainable national development.

He also intimated the team on the reforms strategies and how they operated.

“The national Strategy for Public Service Reforms (NSPSR) have three main goals: MDAs are to achieve a world class PSR by 2025, they are to transform and reinvigorate the service.

“The national strategy for public service reforms has four pillars.

“Pillar one, is coordinated by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation with an enabling institutional and governance environment.

“Pillar two is coordinated by Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to create an enabling economic environment.

“Pillar three is also coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning for public financial management reforms.

“Pillar four is coordinated by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) for civil service administration reforms.”

Arabi listed the challenges facing the reform process and mitigation measures taken.

He said that the challenges include “weak implementing capacity in MDAs, emergence of reforms fatigue such as “we are tired of reforms”.

“Resistance to change for fear of loss of privileges or just fear of the unknown

“Poor budgetary provision for implementation of reform measures.”

Arabi, however, said measures have been taken to address the challenges.

“We established reform coordination departments in key MDAs; and created strong information, education and communication programmes.

“We made available a robust monitoring, evaluation and reporting system and decentralized responsibilities to create more passion by implementers or drivers of the reforms.”

He added that the bureau had established reforms coordination, service improvement and innovation department, in liaison with SERVICOM and OHCSF.

The D-G further explained that the departments served as focal points for driving all changes and reform initiatives, as well as areas for improvement.

He however stressed that adequate funding was necessary to drive reforms and ensure efficiency in service delivery.

Arabi said it was also important to improve working relationship and engagements with the Bureau to act as guide and enhance its effectiveness.

Earlier AbdirRaman Lekki , Assistant Director, Lagos State Managment Service Department, office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation, said the team was on a study visit to the bureau, as part of efforts to strengthen the public service delivery system in the state.

Lekki also the Board Secretary Lagos State Scholarship Board said the aim of the visit is to study how the reform operates and also the fact that Lagos State currently wants to establish a structure for reforms in all MDAs.

“Since the federal government has implemented something like that, we decided to come and see what was the story that led to that and how it has fared over the years.

“So the we can understand how it was done, what have worked well, what can be improved upon and to see how we can replicate the same and see how we can improve on it in Lagos State.”

He said that part of their plan was to create reforms unit in all MDAs to address challenges in the implementation.

“We decided it’s better we help to create reforms unit within all MDAs so that reforms can be proactive rather than being reactivate.”