By Elizabeth Satta Sengeh, Strategic Communications Coordinator
(Office of the President)
The Cabinet Secretariat (CabSec) of the Government of Sierra Leone submitted its Strategic Plan 2020 to the Ministry of Finance at the Bilateral Budget Discussions 2020 – 2022, at the Miatta Conference Hall, Brookfields, Freetown, on 2nd. October, 2019, in the presence of stakeholders including Civil Society, Non- State Actors and the Fourth Estate.
The total budget amount requested by CabSec for Fiscal Year 2020 is Le 2,769,296,000.00.-(Two Billion Seven Hundred Sixty- Nine Million Two Hundred Ninety- Six Thousand Leones).
The CabSec Budget for the Fiscal Year 2020 was comprehensively deliberated by the stakeholders present. Stakeholders i) acknowledged the fact that the CabSec is crucial to the success of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs); ii) agreed that a major challenge to the realization of the planned targets of the Cabinet Secretariat appears to be insufficient and usually delayed allocation of funds; and iii) recommended that given its strategic importance, Government should provide adequate funds, in a timely manner, to the CabSec to ensure effective and efficient service delivery.
Mr. Samuel Camillo Bangura, Director Corporate Affairs, CabSec, presented the Cabinet Secretariat Strategic Budget Plan 2020. In his presentation Mr Bangura outlined the Mandate, Core Functions and Strategic Objectives of the Cabinet Secretariat as follows:
The CabSec has a unique mandate within the Public Service governance system. It supports the decision-making function of the Cabinet and its head also serves as Head of the Civil Service.
This role duality spans the Strategic high-level policy making cycle to the day-to-day operationalization of the programmes and Strategies by MDAs.
The core functions of the CabSec are: Organising the business of the Cabinet and coordinating and supervising Administrative and Professional Heads of MDAs; promoting coordination and cooperation among stakeholders both locally and internationally; and ensuring efficient and effective service delivery to the general public.
The Strategic Objectives of the CabSec are: To support the Cabinet’s decision-making role in government by enhancing the quality of information, consistency in policy formulation, through evidence-based policy development; to ensure the effective implementation of government policies and the smooth running of government through leadership, effective coordination, supervision and oversight of the Civil Service; and to provide support to MDAs enabling them to be effective and efficient””, Mr. Bangura explained.
Mr. Mohamed R. Basharr, Accountant, CabSec, presented the summary and details of the Actual Expenditures for 2018 and 2019; and the Recurrent Budget for Fiscal Year 2020 .His presentation took cognizance of the three Departments of the CabSec that deliver services, namely: Cabinet Affairs Department, Civil/Public Affairs Department and Corporate Affairs Department.
Mr. Basharr outlined the key deliverables for FY 2019 and 2020 as follows: Provide Secretariat services to Cabinet meetings and monitor implementation of Cabinet Decisions; Electronic archiving of available documents as a precursor to E-Cabinet; develop and implement a Citizens Charter for each MDA; construct office complex for the Secretariat; construct a Public Service Academy; and contribute to the production of reports on nationwide monitoring and evaluation of activities and outcomes””, Mr. Basharr avers.
Mr. Foday D.M. Sesay, Executive Director, DADA-SL, a Civil Society Organization; Mr. Abdulai Koroma, Non-State Actor; Mr. Tamba Deen Kamara and Mr. Chernor Bah, Civil Society Activists, on behalf of other stakeholders present at the Bilateral Budget Discussions 2020-22, declared that as the Cabinet Secretariat plays an active role in service delivery to the public, as well as in national development, it as a premium office, whose role is crucial to governance, policy/decision-making and day-to-day operationalization of the programmes and Strategies by MDAs. They, therefore, unanimously endorsed the Cabinet Secretariat Strategic Plan and Budget for Fiscal Year 2020 and recommended it to the Ministry of Finance for timely and appropriate funding.