Donors briefed on civil service reform program [Archives:2004/713/Local News]

February 19 2004

A meeting between the Yemeni government and the donor countries and agencies was held last Sunday to review Yemen's program for administrative reform and evaluate what has been achieved so far.
The meeting was held at the Ministry of the Civil Service and insurance premises. Mr. Hamoud Khaled al-Sufi. Civil Service Minister briefed the donors on the various steps of the administrative reform package which Yemen started in 1995 as a part of an overall economic and administrative reform program sponsored by the WB and IMF.
He briefed the donors' representatives in Yemen about what has been done so far, including the approval of the single employee identity card system to be implemented soon which would put an end to the dual and phantom job holders problem in the civil, military and security sectors.
He told them that the Government was able to overcome the economic and fiscal problems that existed prior to 1995.
He also said that his Ministry was able to implement a national salary and wage strategy, operating the civil service fund to which 11,000 representing surplus labor will be referred.
“Despite all this, the Civil Service Ministry lacks competent and skilled people that would enable these measures to be implemented,” he said.
He also complained that Yemen is facing a lot of problems due to its war on terror. “Yemen is carrying out both human and political responsibilities beyond its capabilities”, he said, adding that this is done at the expense of development.
On his part, the Dutch ambassador, Mr. Bert Ronhaar, who co-organized the meeting highlighted the significant role of a good civil service. He said that civil service reform has to reengineer all resources and that poverty reduction and sustainable development cannot be achieved without efficient civil service reform.
Meanwhile Mr. Robert Hundle, WB Country Manager, said that civil service reform is very hard and that the difficulty does not only come out of the political side but also the social one. “People in Yemen still think of civil service as social insurance.
The real challenge is to change this attitude,” he said. He emphasized that it is the responsibility of the government to do this reform, which will not succeed unless there is a political commitment for that.
The attendants were briefed also on the civil service management project which is meant to improve the performance of the public sector, create a modern public administration, improve the climate for private sector business activity and improve public services effectively and efficiently.
The minister replied to the various inquiries of the ambassadors and they all emphasized the need for holding such meetings regularly to see what is being done.