Talk of the Hour: ‘The Civil Service Needs Strict Political Commitment to Get Upgraded’, Says Abu Garda

Ahmed Ibrahim Ballal

The former minister of labor, administrative reform and development of human resources, Bahar Idris Abu Garda, said that the reform of the civil service was in need of strict political commitment if it is to get appropriately upgraded.
While on a visit to Merowi recently, he addressed a sector workshop for the North in which he emphasized that the reform process should start from bottom levels up to the top ones, indicating that they at the ministry had started to listen to the different states in the country before the holding of the central workshop at Khartoum.
Abu Qarda disclosed that there were previous 54 trials to rehabilitate the civil service that were doomed to failure due to lack of: political discipline, exact specification of problems and transparency.
The minister concluded his remarks by calling on the employees to change their behavior by abandoning negative behavior and to adopt a positive one, advising that their involvement in the decision making is a must, stressing that if for the country was to be in an equal
footing with the developed nations, the civil service should receive all the due consideration, therefore production and productivity will automatically go up.
Also, addressing the workshop is Tabita Butrus, former state minister at the ministry of the federal rule chamber, who called for tackling the problems of the civil service transparently and deeply, through distancing it from the ills of affiliation geographically and tribally, seeing it as much appropriate that the qualified person should be put in the suitable place.
The former North state governor, Yassir Yousif, is also one of the speakers at the workshop, who said that the nations that surrounded them had developed because of the civil service, calling for the launch of war against bureaucracy which he considered as the biggest stumbling block to any kind of development.
He added that the employees, especially the ones that related to the public sector, should bear in mind that they were merely there to serve the public.
Needless to say, the human factor is the core to boost forward the civil service tremendously forward and in all spheres. Terry and Anna Philips who are the authors of a book titled, ’Building Skills’, are also concerned to motivate individuals, through being given all the due heed if for production and productivity are to get boosted, going to explain the point like this; ‘on one side we have work. On the other side we have the time available. Work must equal the time available. We must have enough time to do the work we have to do presently’.
They went to say that in order for the work to be done efficiently, its amount should reduced, indicating that such a thing is not without exceptions. ‘It is very difficult to apply this to learning; when you are studying, attending lectures, doing research, etc. you should have to do them all’.
As a way out from the dilemma, the authors suggested many alternatives; increase of the time available either, one is to get up an hour earlier or to work to a later time, or not to take many breaks during the day.
Terry and Anna Philips saw that there is some shortcoming associated with the proposal; it is rest which is of much significance, exactly as work is.
In their opinion, there are other alternatives which they think they do worth coping; the current work should be done at the correct time. ‘If it is not to be done at the appropriate time, then it is to become a previous work, which is problematic, since it becomes an additional burden –should be accomplished simultaneously with the previous work’.
For further boosting of production and productivity, they suggested that the concerned employee should be spared the disturbance of some entities which they called time thieves, going further to illustrate them as follows; firstly, people as time thieves. ‘They are the hard working people who insist to interrupt your work in order to have theirs got done’.
Secondly, the friendly colleagues who are merely after talking and chatting-just inconsiderate of whether you are busy doing something important or not.
Thirdly, some things as time thieves, such as the mobile phone which keeps to distract you by ringing all the time.
Fourthly, there are ‘The Do List’-the many things that should be done while you are not in a position to know which one that should be done first. In this regard, the authors saw that the employee should have to decide which is which in order for work to be done immediately.
Fifthly, the hungry stomach as time thief. So, in this case one needs to search for food before initiating the work-something that is to have adverse effects to accomplish the assigned tasks as scheduled.
Finally, the tired brain as a time thief. In this case, the individual needs something to stimulate them, especially mentally, such as the searching for a cup of tea or coffee to drink.
Terry and Anna Philips tackled issues such as motivation, complaints and appreciation as major factors that are to reflect positively in the boosting up of production satisfactorily. ‘The employees need incentives, need someone to listen to their complaints and need someone to approve well of their works’.
Michael Elliot, writer, stressed the point of rewarding salary as one of the factors to make the employee to double efforts to increase production tangibly, adding that the satisfactory salary makes the immigrants in America to change their work patterns noticeably. One of them talked about this point like this; ‘in America we can do any kind of job, no matter how insignificant or inferior it is, as long as it is financially rewarding. At home we are engineers, in New York we should forget about this to work as even bakers’.
The writer indicated that such behavior, had profited America a lot, pointing out that since 1970 it has admitted about 15 million legal immigrants, disclosing that such an orientation has made out of US the most impressive nation in modern times. ‘And since these immigrants are overwhelmingly inspirational and entrepreneurial, their absorption in US is a guarantee that it will keep vigorously and continuously to renew itself’.
Of relevance here is Japan whose unique experiment in the domain of employment deserves copying worldwide. The employee there has only to devote whole efforts and times for work. All burdens that are to distract them from this, they are all be shouldered by the employers. So, the secret of seeing Japan as installing itself at the helm of the advanced and developed nations, has just emanated from here.
In conclusion, we can say this; all the developing countries, especially Sudan, are badly in need of all the above mentioned illuminating patterns. Historically, especially during the era that Sudan had been governed by the British, it had enjoyed the merits of a model civil service. But, unfortunately, now such a thing is utterly lacking-it has been keeping to deteriorate since then. That is why it is no surprise to see the minister of labor, administrative reform and development of human resources, Bahar Idris Abu Garda, to call loudly that the reform of the civil service is in need of strict political commitment.

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