This report brings out in nutshell and in details the background on the ethical challenge facing Somalia civil servants from independent time to the current moment and also examines in nutshell and in details.
The efforts made by government of Somalia to revive civil service law and code of conduct to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants, the Somalia Federal Government Achievements in the Civil Service Sector Reform to reduce to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants, the challenges the government of Somalia is facing in its fight curb to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants, the current immediate issues that need to be addressed to reduce to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants.
The reports also brings the possible recommendations the Federal Government of Somalia should put into Consideration to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants which include: government should build an independent and professional civil service is a prerequisite for a government that can implement its laws and policies, the law governing the Somali civil service needs to be revised and endorsed by the federal parliament, there should be sufficient for meaningful reform, there should be implementation of Regulatory Reform, there should be a new approach for the recruitment and selection of civil servants should be introduced, the federal government civil service needs both downsizing and expansion at the same time, Somalia needs an institution responsible for the training and development of the capacity of public servants, the government must set up avenue for Human Resource Management Reform where Promotion and recruitment to the civil service has been based on merit, not political or family connections, and is protected by law, there should be clear declaration of citizen responsibilities in the country, there should be application of integrity test before and after employing a civil servant and the Federal Government should give the citizens of Somalia right of protected disclosure of official Wrongdoing (‘Whistleblower’ Protection) and lastly the, government must institute immediate public finance management reforms.
REPORT ON THE NEED FOR ‘IMPLEMENTATION OF EFFECTIVE ETHICS STANDARDS IN SOMALIA FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CIVIL SERVICE’ TO REDUCE THE RECRUITMENT OF UNQUALIFIED CIVIL SERVANT AND CRIMES BEING COMMITTED BY SOMALIA CIVIL SERVANTS.
Public [or civil] servants are the government employees responsible for the implementation of public policies and delivering government services to the citizens. Ethics are moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity by civil servants doing government jobs. Establishing capable and professional civil servants is a fundamental component of state-building. Since independence, Somalia’s civil servants have experienced multiple challenges. Successive Somalia’s civil and military governments between 1960 and 1991 failed to produce strong and professional civil service institutions. An early aggressive civil service reform program was undertaken during Abdirisak Haji Hussein’s premiership (1964-1967). Thousands of directors and low-level civil servants were fired as a result of the reform. However, the 1967 elections and subsequent coup interrupted Hussein’s efforts. That was followed by more than two decades of military rule and subsequent more or less dysfunctional state machinery with wars compounded by insufficient transitional governance, the civil service in Somalia remains stagnant or rather virtually non-existent. The collapse of the state in 1991 then completely destroyed an already ineffective public bureaucracy. The State collapse in 1991 and the political turmoil and persistent wars that followed have caused Somalia Public sector to suffer from immense losses in human resources through death, brain-drain or old age. In this way, Somalia lost its talented civil servants in the two-decade plus strife and lacks in managerial, professional and technical personnel across the country.
In Somalia today there are increasing expectations from ordinary citizens, business leaders and Civil Society that Governments will establish and deliver higher standards of ethicality and integrity in the Civil Service, agencies of government (Ministries and parastatals), and Government itself. In part this expectation is the result of better-focused media attention and public scrutiny, and increasing impatience by ordinary citizens and Civil Society, whose members want to see an end to the corrupt practices and systems of the past in Somalia. Bearing in mind the significant progress made in recent years since 1991 in developing effective Civil Service Ethics, Codes of Conduct, transparency measures, Ethics and Integrity systems, and Anti-corruption agencies, there is now a need to concentrate on three areas of concern in particular, which are directly relevant to the problems of internalising integrity and Ethics in democratic governments and the Civil Service. But still in this current moment there is high number of unqualified civil servants and criminal working in the Federal Republic of Somalia government; these challenges are affecting the social, economic and political development in the country owing to various problems being created in the Federal Government by those incompetents and criminal civil servants. This report their brings out in details and in nutshell the background of civil service sector problems in Somalia, the strategies necessary to revive civil service law and code of conduct to reduce the increasing rate of employing unqualified and criminal civil servants in the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somalia Federal Government Achievements in the Civil Service Sector Reform to reduce the increasing rate of employing unqualified and criminal civil servants in the Federal Government of Somalia, the major challenges facing the government of Somalia in its fight curb the increasing rate of employing unqualified and criminal civil servants in the Federal Government of Somalia, the urgent issues which need to be addressed to curb the increasing number of unqualified and criminal civil servants working in the Federal Republic of Somalia.
- THE OBJECTIVES OF THE REPORT
The objectives of the report on the need for the implementation of effective ethics standards in Somalia federal government civil service’ to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants include the following:
- To analyse the efforts made by government of Somalia to revive civil service law and code of conduct to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants
- To analyse the Somalia Federal Government Achievements in the Civil Service Sector Reform to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants.
- To find out the challenges the government of Somalia is facing in its fight curb to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants.
- To identify the current immediate issues that need to be addressed to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants.
- To analyse the possible recommendations the Federal Government of Somalia should put into Consideration to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants.
- THE EFFORTS SO FAR MADE TO REVIVE THE CIVIL SERVICE LAW TO ENHANCE EFFECTIVE ETHICS STANDARDS IN SOMALIA GOVERNMENT CIVIL SERVICE’ TO REDUCE THE RECRUITMENT OF UNQUALIFIED CIVIL SERVANT AND CRIMES BEING COMMITTED BY SOMALIA CIVIL SERVANTS.
According to Mr. Abdullahi Yusuf’s transitional federal government made first post-state collapse attempt to reestablish a professional civil service with the draft and approval of the Law for the Somali Civil Service – also known as Law No. 11 – by the transitional federal parliament. The law, which was approved in Baidoa in late 2006, became the basis for Somalia’s post-conflict civil service. Members of the National Civil Service Commission (NCSC) were appointed in the same year.
Article 7 of Law No. 11 mandates the National Civil Service Commission (NCSC) to recruit all civil servants independently: “When the Government institutions need recruitment of workers, they apply and present their requirements to the National Civil Service Commission of the Government”. The article was not, however, implemented according to the law. Most of the more than five thousand current federal government civil servants were selected by ministers and other politicians mainly on the basis of clan or friendships. The National Civil Service Commission (NCSC) members did not, in any case, have enough resources, capacity, and authority to undertake their mandated duties. As a result, the National Civil Service Commission (NCSC)’s responsibilities were reduced to the registration and recording of new civil servants selected by ministers – documentation only started in 2012.
Successive governments failed to prepare a clear employment and retention process and create the environment for open competition and merit-based civil service recruitment. Civil servants did not receive the necessary training and professional development for their duties and mandates. There were no state-owned civil service institutes that trained public personnel. Furthermore, the salaries of civil servants were not regular and at times civil servants did not receive salary payments for successive months. These fundamental challenges resulted in a bureaucratic cadre who are not able to deliver rudimentary government services to the public.
- THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF SOMALIA ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR IN THE CIVIL SERVICE SECTOR RESTORATION TO REDCUCE THE RECRUITMENT OF UNQUALIFIED CIVIL SERVANT AND CRIMES BEING COMMITTED BY SOMALIA CIVIL SERVANTS.
The various achievements of Somalia of the Federal Republic of Somalia in improving the civil service sector to help to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants include the following:
- Reinstitution of the Somalia Civil Service law
In an attempt to reinstate the Civil Service, in 2006, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia commissioned a panel of experts to study and piece together the Civil Service foundation. The panel reorganized the service and put forward a draft law to reinstitute the Civil Service law. The bill was signed into law on December 5, 2006 by the then president of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, His Excellency Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed. Law number 11 (2006) was issued to re-establish the fundamental principles and comprehensive rules for civil service Commission in the Federal Government of Somalia. However, in practice, the law has not been fully enforced or implemented since then. The current Federal Government, through the Development and Social Services Ministry, is working on Law number 12 (2013) to improve on the Law number 11 (2006)
- The creation of National Civil Service Commission (NCSC)
National Civil Service Commission (NCSC) is a 14 member commission whose main task is to recruit, test, register, supervise, promote, and protect the welfare of the Civil Servants. The Commission also investigates the complaints and grievances of the Government Departments and within the employees consistent with the Act of the Civil Service Law (N0. 11). In addition to that, the Commission gives advice on Salaries and Wages Structures in the national budget.
The Commission is little by little establishing itself as a relevant national body. Mr. Ali Mohamud Ibrahim is the chairman of the Commission. One more sign of recovery which is worth mentioning here is the coming back of Somali Trade Union better known as Somali Congress of Trade Unions (SCTU). The union is making docile endeavours to fight for the rights and welfare of the working class in Somalia. It so far has about a dozen unions representing various industries but mainly represents the private sector.
- The creation of Civil Service Institute (Somaliland)
In 2005, with the assistance of UNDP, a Civil Service Institute was launched in Somaliland. Although the institute does not have much to offer as an institute, it provides some sort of courses of training to the civil servants and private individuals in manpower development with special emphasis on the most needed areas of public administration, accounting as well as communication and technology. The institute operates in a sustainable manner and contributes to the capacity building of career civil servants for the public services as well as private sector employees in Somaliland.
- The formation of UNDP, QUESTS-MIDA and IOM Initiatives to enhance the capacity of public service in Somalia.
To set Somalia on the path of development, UNDP Somalia implements programmes and projects aimed at delivery of recovery and development assistance to Somalia. One of these projects is the Somali Institutional Development Project (SIDP). The QUESTS-MIDA project works with public sector institutions in Somalia to facilitate the transfer of skills, knowledge and experience from qualified Somali expatriates in the Diaspora through short-term, capacity-building assignments in key public institutions in Somalia. As part of the efforts to enhance the capacity of the country’s public service, the IOM’s Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals project is pretty helpful as the employees it sponsors fill short-term needs in government departments. AMISOM and neighbouring countries including Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya as well as Uganda and Sierra Lone sometimes but not often offer occasional training courses to what they term Somali Senior Staff capacity building.
- The implementation of delivering change in Civil Service: the way ahead.
As the work of the civil service has a profound impact on the life of the public, the Government Projects will not get done until a national civil Service is re-established, in order for the Civil Service to transform the delivery of the public services in line with the six pillar priorities of the president and fulfil its duties as the Government employees, it must be a politically neutral civil service.
To that end, the starting point is to restore the value of the institution especially the staff professionalism where Personnel appointments must be based on qualifications and merits and made through open and competitive process.
- The government Offered relevant trainings to upgrade the Civil Service.
The Civil Service Reform refers to the upgrading of the organisation, performance and working conditions of the government employees. This does not necessarily mean concentrating around a reduction in the size of the civil service. More importantly, the desired reform should be phased over a period of certain time. One of the best ways of reforming civil service is through the use of training as a vehicle for promoting it. The success of training for developing cadre for the public administration largely depends on a combination of factors including the content of the training course, the process and technique used as well as the environment in which the training is undertaken.The World Bank’s Capacity Injection Project (CIP) and the strengthening Institutional Performance (SIP) of UNDP are two relevant programs for strengthening Somalia’s civil service. The World Bank’s CIP aims to strengthen the capacity of ten federal government institutions. The project introduced a new, formal recruitment process and injected key human resources to core government institutions. The project could serve as a pilot assessment for a larger government-led civil service reform in the near future. UNDP’s SIP project has also supported civil service reform, including a review of the civil service law no. 11.
The federal government has embarked on its own efforts to reform the civil service. Since February 2017, the government halted the recruitment of new civil servants not only due to a lack of resources, but also due to the need to reform civil service and the flawed recruitment processes. In addition to increasing working hours of civil servants and regular payment of the salaries of civil servants, the federal government redesigned the structure of civil service institutions by eliminating the ‘Permanent Secretary’ position of all but one ministry. The government has also started the recruitment of all Director General Positions.
- THE CURRENT CHALLENGES FACING THE GOVERNMENOF FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF SOMALIA IN THEIR FIGHT TO REDCUCE THE RECRUITMENT OF UNQUALIFIED CIVIL SERVANT AND CRIMES BEING COMMITTED BY SOMALIA CIVIL SERVANTS
The various current challenges facing the government of federal republic of Somalia in their fight to reduce the recruitment of unqualified civil servant and crimes being committed by Somalia civil servants include the following:
- There is no clear Ethics Laws, Codes of Ethics, and Codes of Conduct in Somalia
The major problem for implementing effective Codes of Ethics to curb the employment of unqualified and criminal civil servants in Somalia remains that there no law or Code will be of much value if individual civil servants lack the technical competence to recognise an ethics problem for what it is, or if they do not know what standards their organisation expects of them, or (worst of all), if they consider it to be not in their interests, personally or professionally, to take a stand for integrity and against corruption which is not effective in Somalia leading to high level of corruption in the country, hence leading to many criminal cases like corruption and abuse of public offices in Somalia and giving too much room for the employment of unqualified civil servants and increasing civil servant crimes in the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
- Lack of functional Laws against ‘Maladministration’ or administrative law in Somalia
In Somalia at the moment there no administrative law to guide the civil servants on daily basis in the execution of their duties, hence is leading to high cases of maladministration in the country. ‘Maladministration’ refers to the making of an official decision in a manner which is contrary to law, arbitrary, unreasonable, without proper justification, lacking in procedural fairness, or made without due consideration of the merits of the matter, or made corruptly. This is common in Somalia at this moment for which in one respect at least, Maladministration may be no more than simple incompetence. The other aspects of Maladministration, however, shade into ‘Abuse of Office’ – misusing public office for private gain – which is the standard definition of Corruption. In either case, Maladministration by a public official is thus inherently unethical. An ‘official decision’ means any decision made or purportedly made under a law or government policy, or an administrative procedure of a public body, by a civil servant or public official.
- There is no effective Anti-Corruption Laws and Agencies in Somalia
In Somalia there are no functional anti-corruption agencies, under laws which protect the public for reporting corruption many countries have also established, and enforce, a higher duty on civil servants and public officials for mandatory reporting of all instances of suspected corruption and official misconduct, including significant breaches of the body’s code of ethics. Hence, there is rampant Failure to report known or reasonably suspected cases may be used as the grounds for disciplinary measures to be taken against civil servants. This is not operation in Somalia in which many cases of corruption or mismanagement of public funds and resources are not being brought in the eyes of the public; hence making the perpetrators to continue committing those acts without fear in Somalia. Hence, lack of effective law in leading poor recruitment of civil servants without qualifications and increasing corruption cases in the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
- There is no respect and fulfillment of right to obtain access to any official information held by the government by the citizens of Somalia.
In Somalia, citizens have no operational right to obtain to obtain information regarding their rights and duties in the country; the government do not provide citizens with a qualified right of access to any official information held by government. Although the right of access generally does not operate where the responsible minister determines that disclosure of part or all of the official information sought by a person, or the disclosure of the existence of a such information, would be likely to compromise the national interest, the economy, an investigation of a criminal matter, or national security, or would otherwise not be in the public interest. Hence, this giving loophole for the unqualified civil servants and high crimes rate being committed by employed civil servants to continue working in the Federal Government of Somalia
- There is no effective operation of the principles of accountability and transparency in Somalia
Somalia has been at war with itself for the last 25 years. Accountability has been downscaling during the civil unrest. The state of being accountable or the willingness to accept responsibility was missing among the people of Somalia. People have not been accounting for one’s actions as law and order were not in place. Accountability is the opposite of corruption or impunity. The culture of impunity has been widespread during the peak of the civil war. People were killed, people were displaced or evicted from their areas of residence and resources were misappropriated. During the transition period, there has been a heightened political corruption in the country whereby people bribed their way to positions in the government and to seats in the parliament. Since when the period of the transitional government ended in 2012, almost all forms of corruption have remained but things have been improving. Over the last few years, institutions were being built. However, many are lacking, most have gaps and all have room for improvement. Institutions are still weak. The country has gotten a weak economic base and the aid which is provided by the international community lacks leveraging. This is leading to increasing number of unqualified civil servants as well criminals to be employed to take over government jobs without clear execution of the principle of transparency and accountability in the recruitment process and accountability during the execution of the duties and responsibilities
- Lack of Integrity Testing
In Somalia the government is not exercising integrity testing before or after employing a civil servant in certain given position, hence they end up failing to identify whether a civil servant is a criminal or not; hence leading to the increasing number of criminal civil servants in the government. The failure of exercising integrity testing is directly leading to increase in the number of unqualified civil servants and giving room as well for the employed civil servants to commit various crimes in the execution of their duties and responsibilities in the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia
- There is no avenue for effective Human Resource Management Reform
In Somalia, there is increasingly, attempts to employ friends, relatives and cronies contrary to merit-based procedures required by such laws are being treated as a serious form of corruption, and have led to dismissals and prosecution for public officials (including Ministers) who engaged in such practices. Arbitrary dismissal from the civil service through the intervention of a Minister, is unlawful, and may likewise be regarded as a form of abuse of office or corruption. Civil Service Discipline and management practices must be objective, fair, and reasonable. Managers are expected to be trained able to deal with such matters as providing adverse assessments on performance, enforcing required work processes, requiring punctuality, and dealing with employee grievances, effectively and fairly, to ensure that the efficiency of the workplace is not compromised unnecessarily. Perhaps most important of all, Civil Service salaries must reflect the cost of an adequate standard of living, both to minimise individuals’ temptation to corruption, and to maximise the Civil Service’s ability to attract and retain talented employees who can make a contribution to their community. Performance may be taken into account in setting pay, increment, or bonus levels, but must be based on actual performance, objectively assessed, and properly documented. But by itself this implementation will be likely to be insufficient. The Civil servants in Somalia don’t abide by government’s published Ethics Code if they see major breaches of the Code routinely ignored by the management of the organization. Managers (including the political leadership of the organisation) must set the example. The failure in reforming the Human Resource Management in Somalia is the major route cause to the increasing number of unqualified and civil servants and crimes being committed by the civil servants.
- THE IMPACTS OF INCREASING RECRUITMENT OF UNQUALIFIED CIVIL SERVANTS AND CRIMES BEING COMMITTED BY SOMALI CIVIL SERVANTS
The various impacts of increasing recruitment of unqualified civil servants and crimes being committed by Somali Civil Servants include the following:
Unfair and unlawful promotion of civil servants, in Somalia most civil servants are being promoted without proper criteria or performance evaluation in a given period of time. Most civil servants are being promoted illegally based on favourism or nepotism at work place. For example most people who are being recruited to work in the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia like Islamic religions are being put to the position they were holding while they are without the required qualifications to be in those position. Hence this is leading to inefficiency of civil servants performance at work place leading directly to under development in the country.
Secondly, recruitment of unqualified civil servants in Somalia government is leading to disunity. Most of the qualified civil servants are not working in unity and with no great spirit owing to the fact the unqualified civil servants and they are being recruited due to tribalism; hence they do not implement the required duties and responsibilities they are suppose to execute since they don’t have the knowledge and the skills. Tribalism is deeply diving into the politics and dividing Somali society into a level where Somaliweyn is depicted as an interest of certain clans. Clans will be more contented to see the failure of Somalia governance or will not feel the ownership unless the head of the state belong to their Sub-clan (#Jufo), same happens even within clan/regional states. If you look the so called Somali elites (cuqaal, aqoonyahan, siyaasi) everyone is either lobbying for clan/state interest or promoting international agendas( the interest of foreign countries), minor issues are getting major attention while major issues getting zero attention. This leading to disunity and even hatred among civil servants since their unqualified colleagues are not working well and they are always violating the code of ethics at work place.
Further still, the recruitment of unqualified civil servants in the government is generating a lot of crimes like corruption, theft and abuse of various offices being hold by the civil servants owing to the fact that they do not have the qualification to attain those jobs as well knowing the professional code of ethic surrounding the various positions of jobs they are holding; hence leading to mismanagement of the public resources in the economy amounting to under development in the economy. The President of Somalia has for the first time admitted corruption in his one year old Federal Government in Somalia on 10th March 2018. He said that “It is undeniable that there is corruption in the government committed by some us. It is obvious that there is lack of trust.” He acknowledged that there are officials committing public property embezzlement betraying the country which is now recovering decades of lawlessness. Hence crimes like corruption is sabotaging and disorganizing government goals leading to low level of development in Somalia.
Lastly, recruitment of unqualified civil servants in government is making thousands and thousands as of Somali Qualified people are being rendered jobless owing to the fact that most of the people being recruited to serve as civil servants in this country are being recruited not based on qualifications and experience but based on favoritism and nepotism. The business insider reported in the year 2016 that unemployment rate is at 66% with most number unemployed Somali youth are graduates students with the required qualifications. Hence the recruitment of unqualified civil servants in the government of Somalia is leading to low and limited achievements of the social, economic and political goals of the government.
- THE MAJOR AREAS WHICH NEED IMMEDIATE ATTENTION BY THE GOVERNMENT TO REDUCE THE RECRUITMENT OF UNQUALIFIED CIVIL SERVANT AND CRIMES BEING COMMITTED BY SOMALIA CIVIL SERVANTS.
These are as follows:
- Anticipating specific threats to ethics standards and integrity in the public sector: attention needs to be paid to systemic threats that could weaken adherence to core public sector ethics values, and commitment to good governance, and to preparing the necessary political and management responses;
- Strengthening the ethical competence of civil servants, and strengthening mechanisms to support “professional ethics”: new techniques need to be undertaken to institutionalise ethically competent decision making, disinterested advice to Government, and, ultimately, an ‘ethical culture’ which supports professional responsibility, self-discipline, and support for the rule of law ;
- Developing administrative practices and processes which promote ethical values and integrity: new and proposed pro ethics laws require effective implementation through, for example, effective performance management techniques which support the entrenchment of the ethical values set out in Civil Service (and parastatal) Codes of Ethics. Specific strategies which should be considered include:
- Effective laws which require civil servants to give reasons for their official decisions, (for example: a Freedom of Information law);
- Management approaches which encourage all public officials and civil servants to deal positively with corruption and unethical practice when they encounter it.
- ‘Whistleblower’ protection law to protect appropriate ‘public interest disclosures’ of wrongdoing by officials;
- Ethics audits to identify risks to the integrity of the most important processes (for example financial management, tendering, recruitment and promotion, dismissal and discipline);
- New Human Resource Management strategies (which link, for example, ethical performance with entry and advancement, and ethical ‘under-performance’ with disciplinary processes), merit based promotion and recruitment, antidiscrimination protections;
- Training and development of Somali Civil Servants in the content and rationale of Ethics Codes, the application of ethical management principles, the proper use of official power, and the requirements of professional responsibility, and
- Effective external and internal complaint and redress procedures. The Insufficiency of Ethics Codes Most Civil Service regimes (certainly in the West) still equate “Public Sector Ethics” with anti-corruption efforts, and limit their engagement with professional practice issues to a minimalist written Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics, which is usually concerned with prohibiting conflict of interests and self-dealing, and encouraging political and other forms of impartiality, and (increasingly) service to the community. In my view this is an insufficient effort. Publishing a Code of Ethics, by itself, will achieve little.
It is now generally recognised that meaningful and enforceable Ethics codes, linked to systemic practices and procedures, based on legislation, and backed by management leadership and high-level political commitment, and ongoing ‘professional ethics’ training, are essential. Ethics and Corruption Ethical conduct and corruption in the public sector are the two sides of the one coin. To the extent that an organisation succeeds in enhancing its own ethical climate internally, and that which it operates in externally, (for example, by including suppliers and contractors within the scope of an ethics program), it reduces the acceptability of corruption. Conversely, control opportunities for corruption and you make room for ethical practices to become established.
- THE VARIOUS RECOMMENDATIONS THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF SOMALIA MUST CONSIDER TO REDCUCE THE RECRUITMENT OF UNQUALIFIED CIVIL SERVANT AND CRIMES BEING COMMITTED BY SOMALIA CIVIL SERVANTS.
The various recommendations the government of the federal republic of Somalia must consider to curb the increasing number of unqualified civil servants and crimes being committed by civil servants in the government of Somalia include the following:
Firstly, Government should build an independent and professional civil service is a prerequisite for a government that can implement its laws and policies. Redesigning and building civil service that fits Somalia’s context requires a combination of both legal and administrative reform.
Secondly, the law governing the Somali civil service needs to be revised and endorsed by the federal parliament. It is encouraging that the law has been reviewed and approved by the cabinet ministers. The parliamentary approval of the law should be prioritized. The revised civil service law could be the beginning of a thorough reform of the civil service. For example clear Ethics Laws, Codes of Ethics, and Codes of Conduct in Somalia. The Code of Ethics is best regarded as a general statement of ‘core values’ which define the professional role of the civil service. In general, modern civil service Codes of Ethics set out broad high-level principles such as Integrity, Accountability, Responsibility, Trustworthiness, etc., but gives little attention to how these principles are to be applied in specific circumstances. By contrast, Codes of Conduct usually set out specific standards of conduct expected in a range of realistic circumstances, representing a particular organisation’s preferred or required interpretation of the core values or principles which are seen as important to its work.
Thirdly, good laws alone are not sufficient for meaningful reform, which the poor implementation of the provisions of the Law No. 11 demonstrates. A professional and competent civil service commission should be established, with its members selected in a clear and transparent process. Ministers should not, as in the past, undermine the commission’s independence in the recruitment of civil servants.
There should be charters of Service as Ethics Standards Charters of service-delivery developed by civil service agencies and parastatal increasingly emphasize service and accountability – the main aspects of civil service reform – and in so doing support a number of fundamental ethical principles and specific attitudes and practices:
- Service: Citizens have rights to services of many kinds. Civil servants are expected to concentrate primarily on serving the community, and the government, and in so doing to put possibilities for personal advantage to one side. Unnecessary administrative impediments to effective service delivery, (‘bureaucracy’, or ‘red tape-ism’), should be identified and removed;
- Accountability: Decisions made by civil servants and public officials should be made as transparent and open as possible. Reasons must be given for official decisions.
- Complaints: Civil servants on behalf of their agencies are expected to provide effective mechanisms whereby citizens, including the business community, can lodge complaints about the agency’s performance, (or failure to perform) and receive appropriate remedies. Complaints processes should be internally monitored by each agency so as to ensure that systems are reviewed and performance is improved. In particular, Service Charters usually require specific standards to be set covering government service-delivery, but they may also be used to set and enforce standards of ethical conduct (by prohibiting bribe-seeking), departmental accountability (by providing redress for complaints), and procedural fairness (by requiring ‘due process’ and rule of law in decision making). This is not effective in Somalia, hence leading to delay in of Social, economic and political services in the country.
There should be implementation of Regulatory Reform. The elimination of unnecessary administrative ‘red tape’ discretionary bureaucratic decision making of little or no added value is endorsed by many countries as potentially making a significant contribution to reducing the cost of government (by reducing the size of the public administration machinery), and the compliance costs to the community. Perhaps more important, however, is the contribution that reduction of administrative controls may make to controlling corruption, by reducing the number of administrative opportunities for bureaucrats to extract bribes and ‘facilitation payments’, or subvert the process outright by ‘losing’ the file.
Furthermore, a new approach for the recruitment and selection of civil servants should be introduced. Given the then prevalence of patronage in civil service recruitment, a formal and transparent process for the recruitment of civil servants is essential. The civil service recruitment should combine centralization and formalization with the use of technology for application and selection processes.
Further still, the federal government civil service need both downsizing and expansion at the same time. A review of the capacity, commitment and work performance of the current civil servants should be an important component of any future reform scheme. The Somali Civil Service is bizarrely bloated in its smallness and needs both downsizing and expanding at the same time. It is a sad fact that the current Somalia Civil Service is both overstaffed and understaffed in equal measure. This ironic situation can best be expressed in the fact that there is an acute miss-match between offices held and the skills required to professionally carry out their objectives. This sad truth is further aggravated by the lack of official statistical information regarding the Somali workforce record. This would help the government save unnecessary expenses it incurs in the form of salaries for unproductive civil servants. It would also provide an opportunity for the recruitment of a fresh and competent generation of civil servants.
Again, Somalia needs an institution responsible for the training and development of the capacity of public servants. The support that the World Bank currently provides to the Somali National University’s School of Management and Public Administration is a good start. However, a fully-fledged civil service institute could fill the capacity development gap of Somalia’s current and future civil servants.
The government must set up avenue for Human Resource Management Reform where Promotion and recruitment to the civil service has been based on merit, not political or family connections, and is protected by law. Patronage and favoritism in public employment is generally prohibited by law, and protected by effective independent appeals mechanisms.
There should be clear declaration of citizen responsibilities in the country. This will help in citizens dealing with public bodies, a relatively recent development in the integrity field has been the introduction of formal requirements that all citizens in their official dealings with public bodies, civil servants, and public officials, are required to observe a number of responsibilities of good citizenship, in relation to, for example, honesty, lawfulness, and the prevention of corruption. It will also create reasonable expectations of lawfulness, honesty, and integrity on the part of citizens, and seek to discourage citizens from to refrain from acting corruptly or unlawfully by offering inducements to civil servants improperly. Under this provision, citizens are also expected to refrain from deceptive, dishonest or fraudulent conduct, to report any actual or suspected corruption, or misconduct to a proper authority, and to refrain.
There should be application of integrity test before and after employing a civil servant. Integrity tests are one measure for encouraging the observance of an organisation’s Code of Ethics / Code of Conduct. Integrity testing is generally employed by the employee’s agency or an anti-corruption body, to detect individuals who are prepared to accept a bribe, or other inducement, to act corruptly by doing (or not doing) something that they are required to do in their position. To be acceptable and credible, and fair, the ‘test’ set must be realistic, in that it must reflect the circumstances of the officer’s position in relation to his or her responsibilities, and be carried out in such a way that the test does not amount to ‘entrapment’. This process is to be subject to independent review in every case, to prevent abuse of the power to impose a penalty.
The Federal Government should give the citizens of Somalia right of protected disclosure of official Wrongdoing (‘Whistleblower’ Protection). In the interests of improving accountability and fostering the fight against corruption, some countries have passed laws to establish a right whereby a person may make a protected ‘public interest disclosure’ of any suspected or actual corruption, misconduct, or Maladministration by a civil servant or public official. The main task of “whistleblower” protection provisions such as this is to maintain a reasonable and workable balance between encouraging the desirable disclosure of official wrongdoing, (by protecting those who make disclosures against acts of reprisal or revenge).
Finally, government must institute immediate public finance management reforms. Many countries have traditionally adopted stringent statutory controls on the management and expenditure of public finances, in an effort to control public expenditure and to minimize corruption, waste and inefficiency. Most such measures are overseen by an independent Auditor General, who is usually an officer of the Parliament, rather than a civil service office. Increasingly, Parliaments have adopted Public Accounts Committees to add to the oversight of Governments and their budgets. More recent approaches have emphasized the need to ensure ‘value for money’ (‘VFM’) management and control strategies to ensure that public monies are controlled in such as way as to maximize the benefit to the Government and the public, and that expenditure controls are not unduly expensive to administer. This needs to be reviewed and competent staff must be employed to handle this department where it will help to reduce corruption in term of financial theft in Somalia.
Prof: Amaanreer Isak Mohamed ( MR: AIM)
(Master of International Relation and Diplomacy)