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History

Following a decade long trend of economic decline, the government in 1985 decided to design a comprehensive set of adjustment measures aimed at rehabilitating the economy and laying the basis for stabilization and growth. To this end the Economic Recovery Program (ERP) was launched in September of that year with two broad objectives: 
  •   i. To reform the public sector with particular emphasis on reversing the over-extension of government employment and rationalizing parastatal activity;
  • ii. To create favorable conditions for greater productivity especially in critical sectors of the economy.
The principal objective of reducing the size of government employment under the ERP is to improve the quality of the public service and strengthen national economic management. The priority attached to this objective is based on the recognition that the rapid expansion of the Civil Service over the past decade, largely through the uncontrolled intake of unskilled and unproductive personnel, constituted a serious burden on the government’s wage bill. In addition the increase in development activity over the same period also placed an enormous strain on the limited management capacity of the civil service. Against this background and in view of the pivotal and strategic role the government assigned to the public service in national economic management and development, a policy decision was taken in the early 1980s to strengthen the civil service through appropriate reforms.
At present the management function in the civil service concentrates on largely routine matters, particularly on efforts to enforce the General Orders, the Public Service Regulations and Departmental circulars. The training effort is also fragmented and no mechanism exists for the systematic assessment for training needs. The manpower budgeting capability in the service is weak and the roles of institutions involved in the personnel management function need clearer definition.
The objectives of the reform measures in the personnel and the training sector will seek to develop professional personnel end training capabilities as basis for strengthening management services. The strategy will focus on 
  • •         Strengthening of the personnel management function.
  • •         Improvement in personnel management systems and procedures.
  • •         Training and manpower planning.
The existing established office will be reorganized and a personnel management office established as the central coordinating agency for personnel management in the civil service. The Personnel Management Office will in cooperation with ministries and departments, ensure the efficient recruitment, development and deployment of personnel in the civil service. The office’s primary responsibilities will include among others, the following:
  • •         To develop and implement policies for personnel and training
  • •         To monitor personnel and training decisions made in ministries
  • •         To review and control staff complements and procedures in ministries and departments
  • •         To develop and implement personnel and training procedures and prepare training plans for the civil service.