August 22, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s first vice-president, Bakri Hassan Salih, on Sunday will launch a program of civil service reform which aims to end two-and-a-half decades of public service politicisation.
- Sudanese First Vice President Bakri Hassan Saleh (AFP Photo/Ashraf Shazly)
Since the military coup in June 1989, the regime dismissed thousands of civil servants in what was known as the “dismissal for public interest” campaign to replaced them with Islamists cadres under the slogan of “empowerment”.
Last December, the Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, said that the era of empowerment and politicisation of the civil service in Sudan is over, announcing that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) was developing a comprehensive reform program and topping that list is civil service overhaul.
Bashir pledged to guarantee independence and impartiality of the civil service, saying that selection criteria for civil service positions would be based on free competition and professional competence only.
“Promotion would only be based on competence. The era of politicisation and empowerment has passed,” he said.
Bashir further added that civil servants will not be dismissed from work on the basis of their political affiliation, stressing that all people are equal.
The state’s minister at the ministry of labor and human resources development and head of the civil services reform committee, Amna Dirar, called for depoliticizing the civil service in order to secure its stability and allow it carry out government policies and serving the public.
Dirar, who spoke at a forum organised by the official news agency SUNA on Thursday, said the goal of the reform program is to remove the adverse effects of the “empowerment” policy and maintain civil service efficiency, underscoring the latter must keep pace with science and knowledge.
She said the civil service in Sudan has a long history and it is part of the political and administrative power, pointing that development could not be achieved without developed and efficient civil service.
Dirar also underscored the need to acquire modern technologies in order to keep pace with globalisation, saying the first vice-president on Sunday will inaugurate the computerised information center at the bureau of civil service affairs which contains a database of 160.000 civil servants.
She stressed that computerization of information will be extended to include states, universities, government institutions and banks.
The rapporteur of the civil service reform committees, Sideeg Essa, for his part said the program aims to reform the civil service through computerisation and rehabilitation and development of the bureau of civil service affairs besides holding workshops to review the civil service policies and legislations.
He added that several workshops will be held with participation of experts in order to reflect the ministry’s vision for developing and reforming the civil service during the coming period.
The director-general of the bureau of civil service affairs, Abu al-Abas Fadl al-Moula, said the presidential decree regarding civil servants promotions will include all civil servants who spent five years in their job as of 31 December 2013.
He said it does not have accurate statistics on the numbers of the government employees, saying computerisation of the work at the bureau of civil service affairs would develop the civil service and maintain workers’ records.