GDCC - March 4, 2008
Talk points
H.E. Ngo Hongly, Secretary General
Council for Administrative Reform

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

At the urging of the Prime Minister, the CAR, MEF, ministries and development partners have been looking for consensus on the use, establishment and management of performance enhancement schemes. Our attention focused on the MBPI scheme as complement to schemes such as the PMGs.

For years, the Royal Government has recognized the need to address performance related issues within the Administration. The Government also has long recognized the need to increase salaries within the Civil Service. This was a central tenet of the Strategy to Rationalize the Civil Service adopted in October 2001. However, increases in salaries shall be sustainable and maintain coherence among State institutions. As a consequence, we have targeted available resources to priorities: priority missions, senior management and functions in health and education.

In the Administrative Reform, we now have reached the point where the fundamentals are in place. The foreseeable fiscal framework provides room for maneuver. Development partners are committed to harmonize and align their practices with government priorities using government instruments and to assume a significant part of the costs, at least initially. I believe partners are committed for the long term. We can now look at deepening and widening the administrative reforms to accompany reforms such as D&D, PFM and reforms in every sector.

Last week, CAR, MEF, ministries and DPs met to agree on the characteristics of MBPI. I believe a document outlining the consensus has already been broadly circulated. With the assistance of development partners we are now drafting a sub-decree to guide ministries in the use of the MBPI scheme. A similar sub-decree is being prepared for the PMG scheme. The two schemes go hand in hand.

H.E. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for Administrative Reform chaired last week meeting. The consensus crystallized around four principles:

  1. MBPIs will be deployed in support of strategic priorities requiring high levels of skills
  2. MBPIs shall be consistent with existing systems
  3. MBPIs are not indicative of an eventual salary policy
  4. MBPIs conditions shall be limited to the program they support and not affect the unity, stability and sustainability of the Administration

A team has been set up to draft the sub-decree. We expect to circulate a draft in a week's time, in time for a small workshop to finalize the draft before submitting it to the Prime Minister. Another team is documenting current practices so we can assess implications. We are planning to hold a second national seminar on PMGs and MBPIs later this month.

All that to say that we are well on our way to resolving the MBPI issue. Very quickly, we will need to focus on another instrument to enhance performance particularly in the delivery of public services. Special Operating Agencies are flexible instruments for that very purpose. We are piloting elements of the concept with health centers. We intend to apply the scheme to a future employment agency. SOA are particularly well suited for such services and where establishing an "établissement public a caractère administratif' is neither useful nor effective.

We expect to submit a draft Royal Decree to the Council of Ministers in the coming weeks.

We also need to complete the work on the HRM and HRD policies. We circulated draft concept papers over a year ago for comments. Together with an effective remuneration policy, both are essential components of a program to enhance performance and productivity within the Civil Service.

The Deputy Prime Minister is pleased with the progress made and has asked that we keep up the good work. We have reached a watershed point on issues of critical importance to the Royal Government and development partners: how to enhance and manage performance given available means? How to harmonize and phase out current dysfunctional salary supplementation? How to ensure that performance measures are consistent with what is and not upset the unity, stability and sustainability of the Administration?

The last few weeks have shown that we can work together and that we can overcome our misgivings. It is time we start to prepare for the next few years of reforms. A revitalized PAR TWG could be a plus. But first, we shall complete the work at hand.

In conclusion, during the past few weeks, we have been able to articulate a consensus on the nature and deployment of performance based mechanisms. PMGs and MBPIs will respect similar standards to manage performance, they will complement one another, overtime they will converge, and, they will seek to attract, retain and motivate high skills officials.

Thank you very much for your kind attention. I look forward to answer any question or discuss any idea.

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