No public servant is greater than the other: Ua-Ndjarakana

05 Aug 2013 05:00
WINDHOEK, 05 AUG (NAMPA) – No public servant is greater than the other, regardless of position or rank, the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana said on Friday.
“It is very important to note that as a public servant, you are neutral in respect of the government of the day. No matter what political party won the elections, you are expected to serve the public without fear or favour, and you are responsible for executing all the policies of the government of the day,” he said whilst addressing MICT staff during the ministry’s annual general staff meeting in the capital.
The ICT Ministry was created in April 2008 with a mandate to lay the foundation for the accelerated use and development of ICT in Namibia; and to coordinate information management within government with a mission to develop and promote ICT growth, and render effective information services to the entire Namibian society.
A Public Service Charter which guides the behaviour of public servants was launched in 1997 by former President Sam Nujoma.
The guide advises public servants to, amongst other things, be polite and helpful; work without discrimination of any kind; be accountable for all their actions and provide details of performance against set targets; provide efficient, effective and affordable public services; provide information about public services in a prompt, straightforward and open manner, which is readily understandable; and ensure that there is regular consultation and communication with users of the service, as well as to take their views and priorities into account - even providing a choice, where possible.
Ndjarakana stated that these guidelines should form the foundation of every public servant’s existence.
“The guidelines will never be attained with the widely-reported tarnished image we currently portray as public servants. Popular characteristics of modern-day public servants include laziness, absenteeism, corruption and lack of regard towards Government property, lack of respect towards the citizenry, rudeness and unaccountability, amongst many others,” he noted.
He stressed that the ministry’s staff should assess themselves on a daily basis in order to see if they live up to the principles embodied in the Public Service Charter.
Public servants were also told to change their attitudes of thinking they are doing the public a favour when they render services to them, as they should in fact realise that they have a duty towards the public.
As much as public servants have rights, they must keep in mind that those rights come with responsibilities.
“In our quest for higher salaries and an improvement in employee benefits, we should also be able to earn this through our conduct as public servants,” Ua-Ndjarakana noted.
He then called for every directorate and division within the ministry to ensure that their staff members are provided with the second edition of the Public Service Charter titled “Being a Public Servant: The Pocket Guide”.
This pocket guide will empower public servants to carry out their duties, and in so doing, strengthen professionalism and ethics in the public service, the PS added.
“Let us be the difference we want to see in the world,” he stated.