Monday, 15 December 2014

BPSR's One Year Achievement under the leadership of Dr Joe Abah, the 'REFORM TSAR'.

DG, Dr Joe Abah with Anyim Pius AnyimSGF, Head of DFID Nigeria, staff from the Office of the SGF, DFID and FEPAR.

BPSR: One year of robust performance

For the past one year, the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) has witnessed a tremendous leap in achievements. The credit goes to the Director General of the Bureau, Dr Joe Abah. Since the inception of his leadership, BPSR has moved on with speed towards achieving the purposes of its creation. 
The Bureau in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President documented the policies and programmes of the current administration. Titled “Transforming Nigeria” the document x-rayed sector by sector the performance score card of the administration, from 2010-2014.  The compendium shows that the country has made tremendous progress in the last three to four years because of the bold reform measures embarked upon by the Jonathan Administration. 
Similarly, the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) has produced a compendium on Public Service reforms. The document contains all the key reforms initiatives undertaken in Nigeria since the return of civilian government in 1999. The primary objective of the compilation is to assess what has been working and what is not, identify key challenges and propose useful next step actions. The document provides instructive lessons and guidance on where future reform efforts should be focused, including providing the baseline that will facilitate future monitoring and evaluation of on-going and new public service reform initiatives. 
Following the directive of Mr. President on September 5, 2013, the BPSR has developed an appropriate management structure for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Bureau carried out the assignment in September 2013, at the NDDC headquarters, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The focus of the assignment was the development of a management structure for the NDDC that is fit-for-purpose and that can ensure that the Board and Management team of the Commission work effectively and harmoniously to deliver on the mandate for which the NDDC was established. 
Under Dr Abah, BPSR has resuscitated the moribund Steering committee on Public Service reforms. The committee (SCR), is an all-inclusive body of the principal actors of the reform process across the Federal Public Service. The committee provides leadership and direction for reform implementation efforts in the Public Service.  First constituted in 2004 at the onset of the Public Service reforms with a membership of 26 drawn from across the central service agencies, the Bureau serves as the Secretariat of the SCR and in that capacity; it serves as the coordinating secretariat for all sectoral reforms of Government.  The Secretary to the Government of the Federation is the chairman while the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation serves as the Vice-Chairman. 
In 2008 it was decided that there was a need for a National Strategy for Public Service Reforms (NSPSR). This was informed by the realization that many reforms were on-going across the public service, but not all of them were known beyond the lead MDAs. On the basis of this, the Bureau in collaboration with the UK-DFID developed the NSPSR in 2008 as a coordinating strategic document for public service reforms.   The NSPSR provides a common vision and a long-term agenda to guide the rebuilding and transformation of the Federal Public Service. 
The NSPSR is focused on implementing the President’s Transformation Agenda and ensuring consistency in service delivery across the Public Service. As part of the process of validating the NSPSR, the NSPSR has been presented to the body of Federal Permanent Secretaries, SCR and other top government functionaries.
Development of a new Human Resource Management (HRM) Curriculum and matrix of continuous education programme for HRM practitioners in the Federal Public Service was also key to building the capacity of HRM practitioners in the Civil Service under reform. Towards this goal the Bureau in January 2014 constituted a team of Management Development Institutions (MDIs) experts in to develop a new HRM Curriculum and Matrix of continuous education programme for HRM practitioners in the Federal Civil Service which is to serve as the requisite tools for developing officers in the HR cadre in the Federal Civil Service.  The new HRM Curriculum for HRM practitioners in the Federal Public Service has received very favourable reviews by independent organizations and development partners including the World Bank and DFID-FEPAR.
In June, 2014 the Bureau instituted a “BPSR Reform Seminar Series” as part of its broader function of conducting research on reform implementation efforts and presenting “best practice” models. The primary objectives of the Seminar were to provide a forum for the active exchange of innovation ideas, knowledge in public administration and governance in Nigeria and internationally, address salient issues and share experiences about what has worked and what has not worked well, both within the Nigerian Public Service, and in other countries; as well as assist the Bureau to build a framework and network of collaboration for the improvement of innovation in Nigerian public administration and governance. 
Apart from providing reform guides on developing medium term sector strategies and job evaluation BPSR inspired the repositioning of NEPAD Nigeria. For long the operations of NEPAD Nigeria has nose-dived casting an ugly spell that betrayed the purpose of establishing it in 2003. 
In February, 2014 a new Special Adviser to the President on NEPAD was appointed, who immediately partnered with the Bureau to reposition the NEPAD Office, Nigeria to actualize its mandate. 
Other achievements of the Bureau include; assisting the Ministry of Mines and Steels Development to develop the Governance and Operational Guidelines for the Solid Minerals development Fund (SMDF), and compilation of all the key reform measures that the immediate Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji, OON undertook within the fifteen (15) months of his stewardship. 

Culled from Reformer Monthly

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