Reform coming to civil service: Aung San Suu Kyi

By NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has told senior bureaucrats that an overhaul of Myanmar’s bloated and sclerotic civil service is on the horizon, following the launch of a public administration reform roadmap on Monday.

At a launch of the government’s Civil Service Reform Strategic Action Plan (2017-2020) in Nay Pyi Taw, Aung San Suu Kyi said the era of shirking tasks and lifetime tenure was incompatible with the country’s democratic era.

“Civil servants are accountable to the government elected by the people. When they implement the government’s action plans, they need to carry them out fairly, dutifully, intelligently, alertly and actively” she said.

The action plan, drafted by the Union Civil Service Board with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme, is the culmination of nine months of consultations with the public and civil society to discuss the public sector’s current shortcomings.

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It outlines new administrative procedures, workplace efficiency and merit-based promotion measures, and changes to vocational training among a raft of other reforms.

UNDP country director Mr. Peter Batchelor said he was optimistic that substantial improvements in public administration could be made over the action plan’s lifetime and gave thanks on Monday to senior civil servants and lawmakers for their commitment to reform.

“If we want to see a federal democratic union, we must make a great effort to win national reconciliation and to build a civil service regime with all-inclusiveness and more representation,” he said.

Speaking on concerns over low remuneration in the nation’s ministries, Aung San Suu Kyi said that the government needed to delay raising salaries until such a move was fiscally sustainable

 “There is no way to solve this problem at once,” she said. “When it comes to increasing the salary rate, we’ll have to gradually increase them after serious considerations for sustainability in the long run, in accord with the Union budget.”

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