President Bio’s ministers sign performance contracts, marking his final term in power

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 April 2024:

No one in Sierra Leone takes the performance contracts signed by government ministers seriously anymore, after the failure of successive governments to transparently and honestly publish the annual performance of each ministry and their heads, to show how effectively public funds are being utilised, and whether value-for-money is being achieved.

But yet, the charade of ministerial performance contracts signing goes on.

Last Friday, “President Bio presided over the signing of Performance Contracts, a commitment between the President and cabinet ministers to deliver on manifesto promises that embody a leader’s vision, formulated through a delivery agent,” according to a statement published by State House in Freetown.

President Bio, while welcoming his cabinet secretariat, civil society representatives, international and diplomatic partners to work with his government in delivering his government’s agenda, described the signing as a very significant moment, which is tied to his oath of office and sworn mandate to deliver the dividends of democracy and good governance to the people of Sierra Leone.

“The signing of the Ministerial Performance Contract underscores our commitment to transparency, accountability, and excellence in governance. As public servants, we must uphold the highest standards of performance and integrity, recognising the immense responsibility entrusted to us by the people of Sierra Leone.

“We hold the government in trust for the people, and as such, we must never cease to track our journey and render accounts to the very citizens in whose stead we hold this office. This performance contract signing serves as a crucial mechanism for demonstrating our dedication to effectively fulfilling our duties and responsibilities as public servants,” the president said.

He added that the contract outlines his government’s objectives and strategies, for which ministers will be held accountable for their delivery and outcomes.

“One way to lay the much-needed foundation for efficient state management is to ensure that the core members of my executive team, along with their deputies and technical and administrative staff, commit to effective service delivery,” President Bio said, adding that executive accountability is the hallmark of thriving democracies worldwide, and Sierra Leone, under his leadership is not an exception.

President Bio warned that “as leaders and stewards of public resources, we must ensure their judicious utilisation for the betterment of our nation. We must strive for excellence in service delivery, prioritising efficiency, effectiveness, and equity in all our actions”.

Speaking at the event, Vice President, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, described the performance contract signing process as very important, saying: “we are here to continue with a process that was initiated by His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio, in 2019. The President wants ministers to know that he has to deliver on the social contract the people of Sierra Leone entrusted to him while seeking their votes.”

Dr Jalloh described the Performance Contracts for Ministries as a micro-level performance indicator between the President, ministers, and deputies that is aimed at tracking, monitoring, and ensuring the ability to see their respective results in line with his manifesto commitment to the people of Sierra Leone, especially to deliver on the ticket of human capital development.

The National Focal Person for the Mano River Women Peace Network, MARWOPNET, Mrs. Rosaline McCarthy, on behalf of the Civil Society Organisations, thanked President Bio and his government for the invitation to speak at the ceremony. She observed that the initiative was “a show that we are indeed valuable partners.”

“we laud the effort of the government to put in place mechanisms like this one to ensure that duty-bearers are held accountable for their actions. Civil society remains committed to engaging the government on issues about the welfare and status of the people of Sierra Leone.

“Today in 2024, many more women and also young women will be signing the contract. We wish them all success in their endeavours,” she said.

Chief Minister, Dr David Moinina Sengeh, said the 2024 signing of the ministerial performance contracts has brought him a profound sense of responsibility and optimism for what lay ahead, pointing out that each ministerial performance contract has been crafted meticulously with ambitious yet achievable targets.

He also emphasised that the contacts are closely aligned with the government’s Big Five Game-changers and the Medium-Term National Development Plan for 2024–2030.

“These are the core functions of our ministries, departments and agencies,” he said.


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