Liberian Cabinet ministers sign performance contractsBy TERRENCE SESAY in Monrovia | Wednesday, September 19 2012 at 17:00
In what is considered unprecedented in the history of Liberia’s governance system, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has made performance contracting for her Cabinet compulsory.
The ministers of Foreign Affairs, Health, Information, Tourism, Commerce, Labour, Youth & Sports, and Internal Affairs were among the first Cabinet members who Tuesday evening signed the contract.
According to a presidential statement, this is part of efforts to uphold the development legacy of President Sirleaf and to speed up the country's economic growth.
The west African country lags behind on most development indicators despite being the oldest independent nation of the continent.
President Sirleaf challenged the ministers to see development as dynamic and to expect a change or expansion in the targets they had set from time to time.
"These priorities were set by you, and at the same time you solicited budgetary support to set these priorities,” the Liberian leader told her Cabinet.
"It’s therefore my hope that we all will work together to deliver these priorities to our people.”
According to the director-general of the Cabinet, Dr Momo Rogers, the performance contracts run from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013, and are tied to the 2012/2013 Budget.
According to Dr Rogers, President Sirleaf also has a part to play in the performance contracting, including providing “strategic direction and overall supervision for the effective implementation of the targets and providing support to ensure timely delivery of the agreed targets or outputs.
He said the Cabinet Secretariat and the Programme Delivery Unit will monitor the contracts throughout the year.
Dr Rogers said that the intention was not to penalise Cabinet ministers, but rather “give them the means to deliver effectively and efficiently; that’s why she’s tied each project to the budget.”
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan described the signing as a “giant step and another milestone in the leadership of President Sirleaf” and a “paradigm shift in governance instituted by President Sirleaf that has set the bar for future Liberian leaders.
He pledged the Cabinet’s commitment to meeting the targets, but called on his colleagues to work as a team as none of them could achieve their goals in isolation.
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