The first annual review consultation of the Public Administration Sector Plan (PASP) took place at the Ministry of Health Headquarters, Motootua, Samoa, on 6th August 2015. It was attended by Chief Executives, deputies, and representatives of Government Ministries and Authorities, development partners, the private sector, and civil society. Annual reviews are a requirement under the Government of Samoa Sector Planning Manual 2009 and the Public Finance Management Reform Plan. The Manual notes that annual reviews are expected to provide a platform for consultation between the Sector administrators and its partners, as well as ensuring there is an annual stocktake of Sector activities.
The objectives of the consultation were to inform public administration stakeholders of current implementation progress; highlight key challenges hindering Sector progress and develop feasible solutions; and gauge stakeholder views on new approaches to strengthen sector coordination and implementation of activities.
Assistant Chief Executive Fualau Talatalaga Matau of the Public Service Commission welcomed the participants and opened the meeting with a prayer. The keynote address was delivered by Assistant Chief Executive and Public Administration Sector Coordinator Makerita Luatimu-Tiotio, on behalf of the Chairman of the Public Administration Sector Steering Committee, Tu’uu Dr Ieti Taulealo. In her address, she noted that implementation of the Sector Plan was broadly on track; however there was still scope to improve and strengthen the way the Sector operated. She further noted that 4 of the 29 activities in the PASP 2014-2018 had been completed or were near completion, 10 were in progress, and 15 had yet to be implemented. She provided an overview of achievements, challenges and proposed way forward for the Sector to improve its performance. The Sector Coordinator’s keynote address is featured on page 15 for more information.
The Sector presented a progress update for its stakeholders’ information and awareness. The presentation reiterated the overview provided by the Coordinator, noting the challenges that have and continues to hinder the Sector’s performance. It noted that the Public Service Functional Analysis (FA) under PASP Goal 1 was now in its second phase. A draft National Human Resource Development Plan (NHRDP) was in place awaiting submission to Cabinet, and that there was still great emphasis on promoting workforce planning in the public service. It also noted that the PSC were developing a concept paper on the establishment of a Civil Service Institute for Samoa. Participants noted the update provided and acknowledged progress made against several limitations highlighted in the presentation.
Several issues were raised and discussed following the presentation, including the ongoing functional analysis, the development of the NHRDP, and closer linkages between sector agencies to allow for more information and data sharing. For instance, the National University of Samoa representative Letuimanu’asina Dr. Emma Kruse-Va’ai highlighted the significance of working together and reiterated that the sector would need to indicate to the University the required number of people trained for specific areas, e.g., on data collection and analysis, to achieve Samoa’s development aspirations in the Strategy for the Development of Samoa.
The consultation concluded with the discussion of a possible way forward for the Sector, to address the identified challenges and to strengthen the Sector’s performance to achieve the 3 Goals set out in the Plan.