Government of Samoa 2006

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2 Government of Samoa 2006 COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1998, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the Government of Samoa. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to: The Chief Executive Officer, Office of the Public Service Commission P.O. Box 73 Apia Samoa or by fax: , Tel: ,

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5 Abbreviations ACEO AG AU CDC CEO PBs GoS HRMIS IAD LA M&E MCIL MJCA MOF MPMC MWCSD NPM OB PDC PMS PSC PSIF PAS PASP PIMU SDS SOEMD STA TOR WTO Assistant Chief Executive Officer Office of the Attorney General Audit Office Cabinet Development Committee Chief Executive Officer Public Bodies Government of Samoa Human Resource Management Information System Internal Affairs Division Legislative Assembly Department Monitoring & Evaluation Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour Ministry of Justice and Court Administration Ministry of Finance Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development New Public Management Ombudsman Office Professional Development Centre Performance Management System Office of the Public Service Commission Public Sector Improvement Facility Public Administration Sector Public Administration Sector Plan Policy Implementation and Monitoring Unit Strategy for the Development of Samoa State Owned Enterprises Monitoring Division Short Term Adviser Term of Reference World Trade Organisation iii

6 Table of Content Foreword...i Word from the Steering Committee..ii Abbreviations...ii Table of Content iii Introduction....1 Structure of the Plan...2 Part 1.Framework of the Plan Principles Underlying the Plan Characteristics of the Samoa Public Administration Sector & Emerging Issues Scope of the Plan Methodological Framework for the Plan Monitoring & Evaluating the Plan Part 2. Sector Analysis and Strategies...22 Part 3. Resourcing Logframe..48 Part 4. Sector Reform Programme Bibliography Attachment 1. Attachment 2. Attachment 3. Attachment 4. Attachment 5. Working Party Members & Meetings..72 Term of Reference for Initial Consultation Initial Consultations with Ministries & Other Sectors Consultation on the Draft Sector Plan..81 Public Management - Governance Model.88 iv

7 Navigating Potential for Excellence in Service A Public Administration Sector Plan for Samoa, Introduction The Government of Samoa has defined the direction of its national reforms over many years through a series of policy documents with various names but currently known as the Strategy for the Development of Samoa (SDS). From these documents, government ministries and public bodies formulate their corporate plans and performance targets. However, while this process established a strategic approach to developing the direction the government wanted to follow, there was a gap between the Government strategies at the national level, and the ministries plans at the organisational level. As a response to this situation, sector planning was introduced and a framework was established. The Samoan economy has been sub-divided into 14 sectors, of which Public Administration is one. The Strategy for the Development of Samoa intends to continue building on the achievements of past reforms. Under one of its strategies to create employment opportunities it has included the aim for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public administration. To guide this improvement, there is to be strengthened planning at the Public Administration Sector level as well as at ministerial levels. This document is the Public Administration Sector Plan for Samoa, Because it is based upon a reading of the current pressures and contextual issues obtained through an extensive consultative process, this Plan addresses the results of a realistic assessment of existing gaps or weaknesses in the way the Sector is currently operating, obtained through an extensive consultative process. It is not a theoretical or abstract document that tries to impose conceptual models from other contexts directly into the Samoan public administration as an ideal to which we all have to strive. The Plan addresses those strategic issues that provide a link between the national targets and the individual institutional targets, and thus provides a wider perspective to whole-of-sector directions than currently exists. Given the current status of development in public administration in Samoa and the timeframe for this plan, it is not one that introduces radical new directions. Rather it consolidates and builds upon the current path of reform. 1

8 Structure of the Plan This Plan is presented in four parts: 1. Framework of the Plan which outlines the Principles, Context, Scope and Methodology 2. Sector Analysis and Strategies which identifies and analyses the Gaps between the Vision, Goals, and Objectives of where we want the Sector to be by 2011, compared to the Current situation and then proposes Strategies to strengthen those Gaps. 3. Resourcing Logframe which takes each Strategy and identifies the Responsible Ministry, Resources required, Timeframes and Deliverables to be achieved. 4. Sector Reform Programme which summarises the strategies and identifies the core activities for the next 5 years into the overall Plan. 2

9 Part 1. Framework of the Plan 3

10 1.1. Principles Underlying the Plan This Plan must be an extension of all previous reform work, at least for the next 5 10 years. Samoa has made significant progress in refining many of its practices within the government sector and has adopted many effective ways of operating. However, there is a need to continue on in this direction for a sufficient period to ensure all reforms are institutionalised and sustainable. Therefore this Plan defines the principles and values that have been fundamental to all past reforms and that will remain the core of future activities: Better Serving the needs of the Samoan people. This principle underpins the Plan s intention to emphasise that this Sector has to have the trust of the people and thus it must consistently focus on them as beneficiaries of public services. It looks at the notions of public value from the perspective of all Samoans as the primary stakeholder in government activities, rather than planning what is most expedient for just the public servants. Community Service Obligations is one of the two major responsibilities of all governments and their administrative agencies the other is Accountability. The principle ensures that although some services may be difficult or expensive to deliver, all citizens are entitled to a certain standard of living, natural justice and the expectation of a safe future. The Government of Samoa is committed to ensure that its citizens are not deprived of the basic good and services, hence its adoption of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Accountability is the other half of the dual role of government. Governments are responsible for demonstrating that they have managed and used the nation s resources effectively and efficiently in delivering services on behalf of the citizens of Samoa. Further, there is a need to ensure that all citizens are entitled to a share of these services equally and consistently. Thus there are certain standards that must be observed and ruled complied with to ensure that the collective interests are served. Governments and their administrative arm must be accountable for sound governance. Efficient Government. This principle ensures that the government continues to move away from rigid and controlling bureaucratic practices toward a performance-based and results-focused approach. This principle seeks to eliminate waste and inefficiency in the public service. However, this must be balanced with flexible responsiveness to provide a quality service. For the purposes of this Plan the notion of efficiency focuses on but is not restricted to, improved systems and procedures, and the strengthened capability of employees of the Public Administration Sector. 4

11 Ethical Public Administration. Underpinning all of the reforms in the public service of Samoa has been the principle of responsible, transparent and professional approaches in the implementation of government directions. Ethical practice applies to all levels of the Sector, from the most senior leaders to the most junior clerks. The citizens of a country can only respect and trust their elected government and its administrators when they see consistent behaviours and decisions that serve all interests equally and fairly. Samoanisation. Historically the Samoan Public Administration has operated under the imported values and principles known as The Westminster System. Traditionally Samoa has a well developed and entrenched system of values and principles known as faasamoa. The philosophy of all of the reforms and this current Plan is to continue the integration of these two value systems in the development of a pluralist approach to public administration that selects the critical elements of both and melds them to fully maximise their individual strengths. Continuous Improvement in a Stimulating Environment. A continuing theme through the series of SDS documents and reform initiatives designed to deliver those Strategies has been to engender a culture within the public service of continuously seeking out new or improved ways of carrying out its business. Like many public services, the early Samoa Public Administration was inward looking, controlling and trying to preserve the status quo. The impetus for this principle is the desire to encourage a mentality of one that constantly tries to stimulate progress based on continuous trialing and learning, grows in capability and adopts an outward focus, all to foster more effective approaches to delivering government services. Such an environment is led by people demonstrating this principle to ensure that the working environment enables all employees to give of their best and so move Samoa forward. Networking, participation, consultation and integration are processes central to new public governance. Governments can no longer work inwardly and be self serving. The need for service improvement requires collaboration between all sectors Government, Private, Civil Society, and Non Government Organisations. Achieving the SDS goals requires that all components of government interface actively with all of the stakeholders and create partnerships of operations. Summary. These 8 Principles form the foundations for this Plan. While they may not have specific strategies explicitly focused on their fulfillment, they underpin all of the strategies contained in the document and form basic themes for how they are implemented across the Service. The evaluation of the Plan includes an assessment of how well any of the strategies have contributed to strengthening these Principles across the Sector. 5

12 1.2. Characteristics of the Samoa Public Administration Sector & Emerging Issues. The Samoa Government has learned over its years of reform that it is not wise to adopt a one best model approach to adopting new ideas, policies or strategies. What works in one context rarely works the same way in another context. Therefore, the Plan details the contextual features within which it is grounded and to which it responds. It defines the Government s plans for how its own public sector may continue to develop, given the framework of its national strategies. The caution is that it is not intended to create a universal or even a regional blueprint for all Public Administration Sectors. External Features Impacting on Public Administration There is a growth in the contribution of the Public Administration Sector to the GDP since 1998 from 7.5% to 8.3% in 2004 primarily because of the wage bill (Ministry of Finance, 2005). This indicates that the whole of the Public Sector including Public Bodies with approximately 8,300 employees (Labour Market Survey 2004) is an influence on the overall economic position of the country. With the recent salary and employment benefits increases across all levels of the Service, the relative contribution is increasing, and indeed dominating in some occupational areas. Issue: The public sector as a whole is growing as a contributing factor in the economy and at some point in time there will need to be a strategic decision about what the size limits of the sector can be, given the services it has to provide, its internal capabilities and the costs of running it. In the near future, Samoa will graduate from Least Developing Country status to a Developing Country. This will impact on the levels of international donor grants and concessional loans to the government. The magnitude of this impact is not yet known. Issue: The Public Administration is facing an uncertain future in terms of the concessional loans to facilitate major reform initiatives. The general public is increasingly aware of what a central government should be providing. Further, they are now voicing these expectations in the form of demands for improved service delivery, and increased accountability and transparency in the management and use of public funds. Like governments everywhere, the Samoa Public Administration is being squeezed between continually rising expectations of service and its own financial constraints. Issue: There is a growing pressure for the Public Administration to continually improve its performance in both service delivery and in better compliance and tight fiscal controls. The challenge is how government can best allocate its finite resources to best meet those expectations. 6

13 Since 1995 the Government has developed and worked toward achieving its national vision and goals as defined in the iterations of the SDS. The consistent and major focus has been on improving the quality of life for all Samoans. As part of the reform initiatives, the SDS has been integrated into all ministry functions via Corporate or Strategic Plans. Indeed, all reform projects were prioritised as efforts to achieve stated outcomes under these Strategies. This Plan is developed as a further tool to achieve Goal 1.c Efficient and effective public administration as part of the wider goal of developing an enabling environment that supports the strengthening of the private sector so that increased investment can create employment opportunities. The importance of this goal is for an effective and efficient Public Administration as a prerequisite for economic development, and thus as a vehicle to enhance access to opportunities for a better quality of life for every Samoan. Issue: This Plan will need to incorporate initiatives to strengthen the public administration work culture that aligns with priority national goals. Public servants will need to have the appropriate attitudes, values and work culture or self image as enablers rather than simply bureaucrats so that the right policies and operational procedures achieve the Goal. Globalisation is impacting on all countries to greater or lesser degrees. Samoa and its government have played a strong role with regional partners for some time, and the Public Administration operates consciously in this context. However, with increasing trends toward a wider globalism and treaties such as accession to WTO, Samoa is facing a future of opening up its boundaries of operation to greater and deeper influences. The Public Administration in the future must be prepared for the implications of these more complex relationships and influences. Issue: The public administration will need to be proactive, flexible and responsive to shifting external pressures. Each edition of the SDS has included aims by the government to gradually divest itself of commercial activities and to rationalise the fully owned public bodies in areas better served by the private sector. As the private sector capacity grows and infrastructure and regulatory frameworks developed, this privatisation programme will continue. Only those Public Bodies (also known as State Owned Enterprises) that have significant strategic, security or social importance will be retained by Government. The remaining strategic Public Bodies are being targeted for greater performance improvement. The responsibility for the governance of these bodies rests with relevant ministries within the Public Service, and through the execution of corporate governance the two components of the public sector are integrated. Issue: The primary responsibility for managing business functions lies with SOEMD, which as a division, is underdeveloped. What is needed is a stronger strategic role across the Sector to ensure the performance and governance of Public Bodies meets both government and public standards. 7

14 Samoa is recognised across the Region as being characterised by a strong national unity under faasamoa, a stable political environment, and a government consistently committed to reform. Issue: The environment for any future reforms of the Public Service is both enabling and positive. Features Internal to Public Administration The whole of the Sector has experienced extensive reforms over the past 15 years, with some functional areas more affected than others. The reforms have included many legislative, structural, policy and procedural / system changes. In some cases, the expected impact results have not accrued, and it could be that the pace of change was not in parallel with the ability of people to acquire the requisite skills. There are a number of factors to this: There is limited market supply to recruit to specialised professions. The graduate scholarship programme is not fully meeting the needs of the Sector. The scholarship bonding system is not enforced. Current staff have not been able, or do not have the confidence, to acquire the new skill sets. High levels of mobility across the sector, lead to a loss of corporate knowledge and capability. Issue: There is a continuing need to build on the current levels of capability of the Public Administration sector to support and sustain the desired effectiveness of the reforms. The real impact of delivery of services at the community and village level of these reforms is difficult to assess currently, given the challenges of implementing appropriate and robust monitoring and evaluating systems. There is a need to focus resources on being able to provide the people, government and key stakeholders with relevant reports about the impact or effectiveness of past and current reforms. Therefore, rather than introducing even more new or different programmes or projects this Plan emphasises that strengthening the Monitoring and Evaluating functions across the Public Sector is needed. However, it must be cautioned that the intention of the Plan is not to excessively emphasise processes and compliances over deliverables and outcomes. We need a balance. Issue: There is an urgent need to have robust evaluating and reporting processes by strengthening the PMS framework, with commitment to effective implementation. One of the reforms was the restructure of the Cabinet portfolios with the parallel rearrangement of government agencies, from 26 departments into 14 ministries and 5 constitutional offices. The full effectiveness and efficiency of this realignment is yet to be seen. 8

15 Issue: There is a time lag in realising the full benefits of many of the major reforms, due to a set of complex factors. The Sector is currently characterised by a series of public management developments over the period of its reforms. In addition to the portfolio re-arrangements, the Sector now operates with: Economic and fiscal reforms taxation, tariffs etc. Financial market liberalisation. Reviewed and redrafted legislation for financial and HRM functions. Output based budgeting and performance measures. Increased emphasis on strategic planning, also with performance measures. Strengthened capability to develop strategic policy. Responsibility to comply with international agreements to which Samoa is a signatory. A growing culture of performance management, Service agreements and cost cutting efficiencies a focus on service delivery. An increased awareness of the need for public-private partnerships, consultations, networking and involvement of all stakeholders a more outward looking Service. Strengthened leadership at senior and middle management levels through the EDP. More equitable human resource management procedures and practices. Increased autonomy over the management of human capital. Regular internal and external financial auditing, with Annual Reporting requirements. Improved office automation and Information & Communication technology. Contracted Executives on employment and performance contracts. A strengthened Code of Conduct that emphasises public service values of transparency, ethics and accountability. Despite all of these reforms, we are not able to capitalise fully on their benefits because of the lack of coordination and integration at the overarching strategic levels of the Sector. Issue: This Plan must refine and strengthen or institutionalise these reforms for sustainability and address this issue of coordination. There has been a decrease in the overall size of the Public Administration Sector from 5,621 down to 4,541 between 1998 and The gender distribution is roughly equal between male and female public servants, with females well represented in the higher executive levels. The age distribution indicates that it is currently a relatively young work force with more than 70% being under 40 years of age (Public Service Workforce Plan, 2006). Implications of this are that the young workforce needs the tutorship of the old experienced workforce to ensure that the corporate memory of the sector carries on. Issue: We need the young workforce to continuously grasp the corporate knowledge, lessons and experiences of past reform in order to build future development. 9

16 The Sector is operating within an environment of severe budget constraints, due to competing Government priorities. This situation was exacerbated by the recent salary increases, Polynesian Airlines and the forthcoming South Pacific Games. Issue: This Plan has to be implemented within existing, even reducing financial resources allocated from the Government of Samoa budgets. The financial management reform did not achieve effective performance management and compliance due to lack of integrated financial management systems and strategic approach to financial matters. There are no explicit links between how the budget is distributed and the SDS priorities, and little strategic analysis or monitoring of the effectiveness of the financial resourcing, at the Sector level. There are ill defined performance measures for effective budgetary management. The reforms to devolve budget management to ministries in 1995 did not achieve the intended outcome at the ministry level: firstly the guiding procedures were not clear or understood, and further the levels of capability in the ministries were inadequate. The framework and the system at the time could not support the full devolution and compliance audits. There are no penalties or rewards for over/under spending of budgets, and therefore little support for effective Performance Management Systems. There is a lack of identification, at the strategic level, of cost saving centres. Issue: In the current financial environment of the Plan, there is little strategic management of budgetary performance. It will be difficult to assess the contribution of this Plan to the SDS with the current financial management system. A large proportion of current legislation is outdated and requires major review and updating. The majority of legislation is not fully understood by staff. The reasons are Most of the legislations were imperial laws that were introduced in the 1960s and 1970s. Legislation to legalise and define the parameters of each Ministry portfolios and authority following the realignment are not in place. In the absence of this, the service is adopting a Ministry Bill approach that encompasses both management parameters and business compliance standards, there is inflexibility for government legislation to respond to portfolio changes. Most of the decision makers are not fully aware of the old legislations and much less of the new. There is a real lack of legislative drafting ability in the Sector. Issue: For the Plan to be implemented successfully there is a need to have current legislation, and for ministries to be fully aware of its implications. While Samoa and this Sector have had the benefits of the SDS to guide Ministry directions and service delivery targets, there is a gap which has led to a general fragmentation or lack of coordination in the actual progress of development sector-wide. The gap lies between the National directions prescribed by the SDS and 10

17 individual portfolio directions within each service ministry. To date there has been no articulation or translation of the implications of the SDS for the Sector as a whole in terms of policy, which then could align or integrate all of the ministry corporate plans. There would then be a tool against which the synergies of the combined reforms could be monitored and evaluated. Issue: This Plan needs to address the need for an overarching policy or strategic directions that operationalises the key priorities of the SDS for the Sector that then provides a blueprint for all of its component ministries and partners. Accountability is one of the underlying principles of this Plan. It is also one of the pillars of governance. Further, it has features strongly in every edition of the SDS since it was introduced. However, effecting it into sector-wide practice is problematic and becoming a concern to both employees and the public. There are many complex issues creating this. The current approach tends to the soft treatment of behaviours or actions that would normally be seen as accountable. Perpetrators tend to be forgiven and only mildly admonished, or in some cases rewarded, rather than being made fully accountable for the results of their actions, with strong sanctions applied. Issue: Making the sector leaders and managers accountable is not a straightforward activity relying only on policies and guidelines it needs far more complex interventions. The Public Service Commission has developed a strategy for professional development across the Sector that pays particular attention to strengthening the capabilities of senior officers in leadership and senior management roles. However, with the increase in demands on these positions to demonstrate that their organisations are high performing, and the current international interest in debating and discussing the rise in the new public management demands, the pressures on senior executives is constant and escalating. For this Plan to have any success at all, it will rely heavily on those people having a lasting commitment to taking a strong driving role. They will need the highest levels of skills for leading and managing their ministries. Issue: This Plan requires a strong commitment from CEOs and ACEOs to drive the achievement of its strategies, which may require a total paradigm shift across the Sector toward the roles of leaders and managers in a high performance environment. Summary. As a general statement, this Plan is to be implemented within an environmental context accustomed to reform and change, and one that is relatively stable and able to continue with new initiatives provided they are aimed at consolidating what has already been implemented. It is time to institutionalise the past reforms, and to focus on those aspects that need further emphasis or clarification. There would be little benefit to be gained from introducing radically new reforms. Rather it should be a period of review, assessment and strengthening for sustainability. 11

18 1.3. Scope of the Plan The decisions concerning what should be the scope of this Plan will address three aspects: i) What functional areas of public practice will be included in this Plan? ii) What institutional structures will be responsive to the strategies within the Plan? iii) Over what time frame is the Plan intended to be relevant? i) The Functional Areas included in the Plan In Samoa, until the late 1980s the Government separated the two key functions of any government regulation and community service - within its Public Administration along the traditional lines: central agencies took much of the regulatory role, along with those agencies who had certain functions such as transport, customs, trade, immigration etc. that required public compliance and consistency. Service agencies such as Health and Education focused primarily on delivering critical services out to the community. Over time, here in Samoa as elsewhere, the demand from the people for better and improved services from their government has led to the introduction of the New Public Management (NPM) methods. NPM is an amalgamation of management practices from both the public and the private sectors to achieve more effective service delivery and to reduce costs. Given the particular context of Samoa, this Plan is continuing the trend of the government in adopting a balance of traditional and new public administration practices. There is an equal focus on service improvement as well as the accountability mechanisms of good governance. The Plan adopts the term Public Management and Administration which in Samoa represents collaborative approaches between the government of the day, its central administrative agencies, local and village governments, civil society, the non-government service organisations and the private market sectors, regional partners and donors. The Scope comprises administrative, financial, legal/regulatory, policy, leadership, planning, human resource functions and practices as they relate to both service delivery and accountability. It will not include the technical business operations of each of the government portfolios, as these will be addressed in the other sector plans and Ministry corporate plans. 12

19 ii) The Institutional Structures that will Respond to the Plan (the Parameters) In developing a Sector Plan it is first essential to define exactly what aspects of the Sector will be covered by the strategies included. First inclination is to simply define it as being the Public Service which includes the Ministries comprising the Cabinet Portfolios. In the case of Samoa this means the 14 Ministries and 6 independent authorities. However, this limits the nature of the scope of how this structure goes about its business and interacts with other segments of the economy. This Plan defines its scope as including the Public Service and its various interface points as falling under the Public Administration Sector. The Plan identifies 4 major interface junctions. 1. Executive Coordination Inter-Face The traditional Westminster system comprises three arms of government - the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislature. The Public Service is the Administrative Arm to the Executive, the group of elected officials - Ministers comprising Cabinet. Most governments experience challenges in developing an effective interface between the Administrators and their Executive where Ministers are confident that all advice is neutral and professional, and policies are integrated to serve the national good. Saamoa is no exception, and is currently not enjoying the benefits of effective coordination of its policies. This Plan provides an opportunity to strengthen this relationship and ensure a sound coordination of government policies across all portfolios and thus maintain a whole-of-government approach to achieving the vision outlined in the SDS. Diag.1. Executive Coordination 13

20 2. Corporate Governance Interface with Public Bodies The Public Sector in Samoa consists of 2 institutional structures: the Public Service and a group of commercially operating government bodies. This group of Public Bodies comprises Public Trading Bodies (SOEs) and Public Beneficial Bodies. As part of its accountability responsibility, the government while giving autonomy to these bodies must also remain responsible for ensuring that community service obligations are met and that these organisations perform according to good corporate governance practices. This responsibility creates the substance of this interface where the Public Service takes a strategic role in ensuring the national interest is preserved. Corporate Governance is defined as those mechanisms and practices that ensure accountability, ethics and transparency in the operation and performance of government commercialised activities and businesses. Diag.2. Corporate Governance 3. Enabling Partnership With Private Sector Interface The SDS has always maintained that to achieve the goals of sound economic reform and improved quality of life for the people of Samoa, there is a need for a strong partnership between the two major sectors private and public. The Public Service operates more and more as a network of key stakeholders, adopting open consultation and free interchange of ideas and perspectives. Where once public organisations were very inward looking and insular, the modern public service is more outward looking and a player on a very complex stage. The essence of this partnership is to enable the Private Sector to grow with sufficient legislative and administrative flexibility and positive encouragement. 14

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