The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Thato Raphaka, has expressed concern over poor work ethic by senior officers in his Ministry.
During a retreat organized by the Ministry last week in Francistown, Raphaka highlighted that failure by the senior officers to work as a team and further enhance their work ethic negates the performance of the ministry.
“In most of the time, you will find out that the officers are not focused and are not time conscious,” he added.
He went on to say that officers need to understand that they are in a ministry that is people oriented therefore there is an urgent need to exert their forces on enhancing service delivery.
The Permanent Secretary also stressed that although the ministry has performed better in recent years, there is need for the senior officers to work to their maximum to ensure that the public is satisfied with their service because the public will always expect more from them.
“The Public Sector is a major tool for good governance, therefore there is much need for the senior officers to mobilize their subordinates towards good service delivery,” Raphaka maintained.
He took issue with the fact that there is poor management of finances in the ministry and highlighted that it is the responsibility of the senior officers to ensure that the finances are accounted for.
Raphaka cited another concern that when it comes to compensation funds, people are not paid in time which then blemishes the image of the ministry in the public eye.
He pointed out that it is the responsibility of every senior officer to try and be prudent on costs because they should account to the public on how the money is spent for transparency’s sake.
“If finances are not managed properly, that can crumble the whole ministry,” he warned.
On another note, Raphaka indicated that it is worrisome there are some issues within the ministry that always find their way into the Office of the Ombudsman without first being discussed at root level, which also dents the image of the ministry.
He said that although he acknowledges that officers are trying by all means to be productive, there is need to bear in mind that they are living in an era of technological advancement where the public demands more from them.
“I want to plead with you as the senior officers to develop a culture of high performance, timeliness and the need to work as a team,” he said.
Raphaka said that the culture that is currently in his ministry gives him doubts if they will succeed in their goals. He went further to highlight the main concern that there is lack of important elements such as accountability, transparency and most of all team spirit.
The permanent secretary pleaded with the officers to try and support each other and understand each other’s need for effective team work. He stated that as senior officers in the ministry, they need to set a direction for the subordinates to help steer the ministry towards the right route.
“Although I cannot force anyone, there is an urgent need to work as one team towards achieving the desired goals,” said Raphaka.
He implored the officers to allow their juniors to play an active part in dealing with issues relating to the organization and also added that they should allow their subordinates to show their full potential and ability.
The two day forum was geared at reflecting on the performance of the senior officers in the Ministry of Local government and to also help the officers on team building for better performance.