The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ)commends the move by the Government to launch the new public service performance-based system for permanent secretaries. This initiative, if implemented correctly, has the potential to transform public service delivery to all Zambians in all sectors of the economy by creating greater accountability of public officers. LAZ would however like to caution that more important than the strength of an individual’s performance is the strength of the institutions of the public service. Public service institutions should be run professionally as much as possible, free from political interference, to ensure that the governance structures of the country are robust irrespective of which political party is in government. LAZ is of the view that such an excellent initiative should extend to all employees of the civil service. Indeed, section 173 of the new Constitution Amendment Act No. 2 of 2016 provides principles and values that should guide employees of the civil service in the conduct of their duties as follows:
(1) The guiding values and principles of the public service include the following(a) Maintenance and promotion of the highest standards of professional ethics and integrity; (b) Promotion of efficient, effective and economic use of national resources; (c) Effective, impartial,fair and equitable provision of public services; (d) Encouragement of people to participate in the process of policy making; (e) Prompt, efficient and timely response to people’s needs; if) Commitment to the implementation of public policy and programmes; (g) Accountability for administrative acts; (h) Proactively providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information; (i) Merit as the basis of appointment and promotion; (j) Adequate and equal opportunities for appointment, training and advancement of members of both gender and members of all ethnic groups; and (k) Representation of persons with disabilities in the composition of the public service at all levels.
LAZ would also like to propose that, where possible, government collaborates with the private sector to share ideas on how the economy and governance can be improved for the benefit of all Zambians. LAZ,like many other stakeholders, looks forward to seeing an increasingly efficient and service delivery oriented civil service.
PRESIDENT – LAZ