The secretary to cabinet and head of civil service has said that the service is a dynamic institution that is always in the process of transformation to upgrade the capacity of personnel at all cadres.
Dr. Ernest S A Surrur, who was throwing light on the structure of the civil service made this clarification at a state function in Port Loko Town past Saturday.
He said there was no perfect civil service but that they have gone a long way to make reforms through the daily supervision of the HRMO that is charged with the running of the service in terms of service delivery
“The civil service in not the one that we used to have but we have come a long way to transform it,” he informed, adding that the service is an implementing organ of the government.
In response to series of allegations made against the civil service by the minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Sylvia Blyden in her Port Loko presentation, the head of civil service said there should be cooperation between the ministers and the civil service because any minister who refuses to work with the civil service is bound to fall; similarly so with the other end.
It could be called that the controversial social welfare minister unprofessionally dragged four senior staff members of her ministry on unclear and botched up allegations of connivance and fraud to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Freetown a couple of weeks ago without recourse to the HRMO.
Later the minister insisted in a separate letter written to the Director General of HRMO that the four officials be suspended pending police investigations. This unwarranted instruction was however, not honoured by the HRMO on grounds that the minister failed to apply the correct method of bringing civil servants to book.
In her presentation, Dr. Sylvia Blyden alluded to the refusal of the HRMO and the head of civil service to act on her instructions; and because she has little knowledge of the mandate of the HRMO, she engaged in smear campaign against the institution at that privileged moment in Port Loko.
This reference was made by Dr. Surrur in connection with the unsavory ranting of the social welfare minister. In furtherance of her attack, in a publication on Tuesday in the Awareness Times Newspaper owned and managed by the minister, a front page article read that “Surrur Misbehaves,” heaping unsubstantiated claims on Dr. Surrur.
In a telephone conversation Tuesday evening, Dr. Surrur said the minister took him out of context completely, and that what she was writing is out of gross misunderstanding of what he tried to hammer home.
“She completely misquoted me. I did not mean the civil service is not up to task to take this country forward. All what I said was that the civil service, like all institutions is not perfect and is faced with challenges but we have got a lot of improvement over the years,” he noted, adding that the skills and capacity of personnel are being improved on regular basis through the HRMO.
On the relationship between the office of the head of civil service and that of the HRMO, Dr. Surrur said his own position is more of guidance and policy making position.
“The HRMO implements the civil service policies, just like the relationship between politicians and the civil service so the attack on me by the minister is unwarranted,” he posited, furthering that the minister clearly failed to go by the rules and that does not concern him.