Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 January 2021:
Yesterday, the management of Sierra Leone’s Public Service Commission (PSC), presented their biennial report for 2018–2020 to President Dr Julius Maada Bio at State House.
Chairman of the PSC, Kalilu Umar Bah, said they were honoured to present the report to the President, adding that the process preceded the laying out of the report in the well of parliament.
He further noted that upon assuming duties in August 2018, he and his team challenged themselves to pursue a new direction to enable the Commission to carry out its constitutional mandate of recruitment and selection of competent personnel to meet the human resource requirement of the country’s public service.
“During the period under review, the Commission received 12,763 applications nationwide. A total of 5,060 applicants were shortlisted to take the Civil Service Entrance Examination on a competitive basis in the regions, and 2,239 applicants sat the exams in the regional headquarter towns of Makeni, Bo and Kenema.
“To date, a total of 775 officials have been appointed by the Public Service Commission to fill critical vacancies in various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies through its competitive recruitment procedures. Gender analysis of the 775 appointments is 278 women, representing 36% and 496 men, representing 64%,” Chairman Bah explained.
Section 152 (1) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone (Act No.6 of 1991) confers on the PSC the power to appoint persons to hold or act in offices in the Public Service, including the power to make appointments, promotions and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices.
In his short remarks, President Bio thanked the Commissioner and his team for performing their statutory duties, adding that the work of the Commission is extremely difficult, given that they would need to consider gender, region, and ethnicity balance in the recruitment process, and in making sure that the recruits are given the best to make the job easier.
“It is our duty as Sierra Leoneans to give positions of leadership to deserving people, to provide an atmosphere of good governance because it is a pathway to developing our nation. We have started making progress and changing the narratives.
“I want to thank you very much for taking this difficult task, we owe it to you in making sure that the people who are coming in service are equal to the task, and to motivate them to make sure we move this nation,” President Bio told the commissioners.
It is all well and good to vet civil servants for the positions they occupy, and the good job they do for the advancement of our country. The public service commission made the claim – the reason why they take the trouble of interviewing candidates, is to make sure candidates that put themselves forward are qualified. They want the best out of the best. I wonder whether Bio met that benchmark. I wish Bio and some of his Ministers had gone through the same process of scrutiny, before they were hired.
Suffice to say I want to know how the SLPP zeroed down on Bio, and by extension presenting him as the presidential candidate that finally won him the office. To the people of Sierra Leone every day feels like, those that picked Bio most have known he was ill-prepared for the job of being President. Bio’s lack of leadership qualities is in full public display.
This president, three years to his presidency we are still waiting for the transformation he promised us. Apart from his flag ship education programme, where are the other programs he promised us and he is yet to deliver? His apologists will say he is fighting corruption, but under his watch it is getting worse – not better. So far there is nothing to show for his efforts.