REVISED GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE 19 March, 2015

March 19, 2015, 12:08pm

REVISED GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE 19 March, 2015

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INTRODUCTION

1. This note presents the revised Government structure that will be in place for the next five years. Important considerations that went into the revised structure were the recently passed constitutional amendments and improved alignment of existing Ministries to Government goals and objectives such as: poverty eradication and reduction of inequalities and disparities; sustainable economic growth and economic diversification; job creation; and improved service delivery.

PRINCIPLE CONSIDERATIONS

2. The following principles issues were considered in coming up with the revised structure

Alignment between structure and goals

3. ThestructuremustspeaktotheoverallgoalsandobjectivesofGovernment.While there had been broad alignment, it was realised that in some instances Government’s structure did not directly speak to its goals and objectives. For example, poverty alleviation is a key Government goal, but there was no single Ministry tasked to address this important national goal.

Instead elements of poverty alleviation were spread across different ministries, therefore leading towards a fragmented approach towards poverty reduction that is not efficient and effective.

Constitutional amendments

4. The recently passed constitutional amendment necessitated a review and clarification of Government structures at a high level. This is in particular true for the Presidency, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

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Process versus execution issues

5. In coming up with the revised structure due cognizance was given to process as against to implementation issues. Only where processes were deemed flawed in terms of achieving Government goals and objectives were changes proposed. Therefore, no changes were proposed to Ministries and Agencies deemed properly aligned to the overall objectives of government. However, even such Ministries will be required to improve their performance terms of execution and implementation of government plans as expectations of the electorate in terms of delivery is very high.

Cost Considerations

6. Democracy, governance and effective service provision requires supportive structures and institutions that comes at a cost. However, costs associated with the addition of new structures will be kept to the minimum. In this connection, the proposed new Ministries will largely attend to already existing Government programs and projects.

Moreover, it is envisaged that through faster implementation, costs savings for the economy at large will be realised, through for example faster growth, improved job creation and improved service delivery.
In addition, the costs of public office bearers in relation to the wage bill of the civil service is minuscule.

PROPOSED CHANGES

7. Specific changes to the Government structure are outlined in subsequent paragraphs. These changes are mainly level in nature pertaining to names and functions of Ministries. More changes aimed at better alignment of Government

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programs within and across Ministries may come at a later stage after they have been studied carefully.

The ultimate aim is to have a Government structure that is responsive to national goals and objectives and that will promote effectiveness and efficiency across all Government structures.

THE PRESIDENCY

8. The role of the Presidency is to provide support services to the President, Vice- President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in the execution of their constitutional obligations and duties.

The Presidency includes all of the roles which are in the direct line of constitutional succession, as well as other positions such as Ministers and Special Advisers and staff members from the public service whose function would be to service the Presidency in the execution of their responsibilities.

9. The President and Prime Minister, together with their respective Deputies, represent the executive and administrative heartbeat of Government business. The Ministers and Special Advisers assigned to this office will be required to provide strategic leadership, management and administrative support services to the above-mentioned Constitutional positions.

It is key for all of these roles to be institutionalized within the Presidency to ensure strategic leadership and communication to both the State and society.

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THE PRESIDENT

10.The President is constitutionally defined as the Head of State and of the Government, as well as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the custodian of peace, security and stability of the country. The primary responsibilities of the President are to use his executive powers in the best interest of the country and to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution.

11.The President must operate in a manner in which it:

  1. ProvidesleadershiptotheGovernmenttoensuretheimplementationofthe Election Manifesto by ensuring an effective and professional civil service which is able to provide the Namibian nation with efficient service delivery;

  2. EffectivelycommunicategovernmentprogramsandpoliciestotheNamibian nation and ensure national understanding of key issues.

    This should translate into a country where the state and society works towards a common vision of holding public servants and citizens equally accountable to a shared vision of inclusivity and accountability;

  3. Ensures appropriate alignment and co-operation of government Ministries and State-owned Enterprises by ensuring strategic co-ordination of efforts and drive outcomes;

  4. MonitorandevaluatetheindividualandcollectiveperformanceofMinisters, as well as their assigned Ministries.

    This is to ensure output which focuses on cost-sensitive effective results and cost-efficiency;

  5. Supports the key roles in the Presidency to exercise their constitutional responsibilities while promoting social cohesion and national unity; and

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f. Shape how Namibians relate to one another and to the world and allowing the constitutional imperatives of inclusivity and national reconciliation.

THE VICE PRESIDENT

12.The Vice President is the constitutional successor of the President in the event that the office of the President becomes vacant or is otherwise unable to fulfil his or her duties. He is the primary advisor and confidante of the President on all State matters and will be assigned to perform duties of the President in his absence or on assignment. The Vice President will also be required to provide ad-hoc leadership on unforeseen issues which require the intervention or assistance of the President.

THE PRIME MINISTER

13.The Prime Minister is the leader of Government business in Parliament. The 2014 Constitutional Amendments specified this role to mean that the Prime Minister is the head of administration. As the Constitution requires the Prime Minister to co- ordinate the work of Cabinet, the position of Secretary to Cabinet will henceforth report to the Prime Minister as opposed to the President.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

14.The Deputy Prime Minister deputizes the Prime Minister and supports the Presidency in formulating and implementing domestic and foreign policy.
This position plays a key role in advancing Namibia in the international arena, as well as any other duties assigned by the President and/or Prime Minister. For this reason the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, formerly known as

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the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be incorporated in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

CABINET MEETINGS

15.The workings of Cabinet will be streamlined to ensure effective and informed decision-making. The Cabinet as chaired by the President will delegate some of its authority to deliberative sessionschaired by the Prime Minister and will comprise of the full cabinet. These sessions will be empowered to invite experts from the private and public sector for engagement on technical issues. This will de-clutter the workings of Cabinet and allow the President to chair an efficient Cabinet which is fed with cabinet documentation which is well-informed and ready for decision- making.

The full Cabinet will meet every alternate Tuesday to provide deliberative sessions to meet on the preceding Tuesday.

MINISTERS AND DEPARTMENTS IN THE PRESIDENCY

Minister of Presidential Affairs

16.The Minister of Presidential Affairs and Attorney General is an existing portfolio. The primary purpose of this position is to represent the President in Parliament. However, the position of Attorney General that is current attached to this position, will become a stand-alone position in the new Government [see paragraph below].

Attorney General

17.Given the anticipated workload of the Attorney General, as well as to ensure quicker turnover time of legal advice, the Attorney General will be detached from the Minister of Presidential Affairs.

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Minister in the Presidency Responsible for National Planning

18.The Director General of National Planning will be known as the Minister in the Presidency Responsible for National Planning. This is done to amplify the importance that Government attaches to planning at the highest level.

Department of Veteran Affairs

19.The former Ministry of Veteran Affairs will be turned into the Department of Veteran Affairs, headed by a Deputy Minster and based in the Presidency. This Department will also benefit from the wisdom and counsel of the Vice President.

NEW MINISTERIES AND MINISTRIES THAT WILL BE RENAMED

Ministry of State Owned Enterprises

20.The Ministry of State Owned Enterprises will be a new Ministry and will be temporarily based in the Presidency.
The primary purpose of this Ministry will
be to positon Namibia’s key state owned enterprises to play their meaningful role in the country’s development. It will also have to ensure that SOE’s are well manage and not present a financial burden to the state. Currently, huge costs is incurred with the running of State Owned Enterprises in terms of management of board representation, as well as excessive high wages by CEOs and Senior Managers that do not reflect prevailing market conditions. It is, therefore, anticipated that the benefits derived from well managed and profitable SOEs that deliver on their mandate will outweigh the costs of running this Ministry.

Ministry of Poverty Alleviation

21.The Ministry of Poverty Alleviation will be a new Ministry and underscores the importance that Government attaches to the fight against poverty and the ultimate

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aim of eradicating poverty. In addition to implementation of poverty reducing strategies, Government will explore the feasibility of consolidating the administration of a number of existing social grant schemes under this Ministry once it is fully operational.

Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture

22.The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture will focus on primary education and promotion of arts and culture that currently resorts under the Ministry of Youth.

It is believed that through closer attention of education at a lower level, a strong foundation for our education system will be established, that is required to excel at a higher level. It is internationally accepted that arts and culture should be part of education, therefore the integration of these functions into the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.

Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation

23.The Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation will focus of developing strong centers of higher education and training, including vocational training, as well as to actively promote research and development and innovation. These are aspects that are deemed crucial for meeting current labour demands and job creation, as well as promoting Namibia’s future competitiveness. It is only through constant innovation, that Namibia will remain relevant in the “new world”.

Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development

24.The Ministry of Trade and Industry will be renamed to the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development. Industrialisation is a key Government imperative as enshrined in Vision 2030, and now that our Industrial

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Policy had been approved, it is expected that the drive towards industrialisation will gain momentum going forward. It is common knowledge that a vibrant SME sector is crucial for economic development. Namibia has been trying since independence to build a strong SME sector, but the results have been less than satisfactory.

Therefore, with the addition of SME development to the Trade Ministry, it is believed that a renewed focus and attention will come to this crucial sector.

Ministry of Urban and Rural Development

25.The Ministry of Regional, Local Government and Housing and Rural Development will be renamed to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development. The functions of this Ministry will, therefore, essentially remain the same as before.

It will continue to have a strong focus on the provision of affordable housing in urban and rural areas, as well as provision of essential services at a local level by having municipalities that are functional. The idea is to spearhead the development of our urban centers to make it more livable and competitive. However, at the same time, we cannot neglect our rural areas, as no Namibian should be left behind in development, therefore this Ministry will simultaneously in conjunction with other Ministries continue to promote rural development.

Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Job Creation

26.The Ministry of Labour and Social Services will be renamed to the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Job Creation. To the extent feasible, the administering of social grants will be moved from this Ministry and incorporated into the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation. Job creation had been added, to underscore the importance that this Ministry should play in Governments job creation efforts.

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Ministry of Land Reform

27.The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement is renamed to the Ministry of Land Reform. Land reform a continuous effort and hence this Ministry should focus on the entire value chain of land reform in commercial, communal, rural and urban centers.

Ministry of Sport, National Services and Youth

28.Aspect of cultural promotion will be moved from this Ministry to the Ministry of Basic Education, Arts and Culture, because it is common global practice.

Such a move will also bring more to the fore essential components of youth development, including youth empowerment. Sport is one of the most important unifying elements in Nations, as well as a source of economic development and empowerment, if properly advanced. Therefore, it is also expected that this Ministry will play a more meaningful role in positioning Namibia as a sports Nation, including the hosting of continental and international events, that will have positive spin offs for infrastructure development and economic growth.