Thursday, 19 August 2010

Namibian Ministries Re-engineered

I do not present a case for how the Cabinet should be structured, but rather concentrate on the individual tasks of Departments. In other words, the discretion of which Ministers should be appointed is not for my efforts, but rather only the makeup of the individual Departments into Ministries that could combine certain tasks.

Re-engineering the Public Service
It is easy to be critical of the government and the “bureaucracy of the state”. However, it is not always easy to provide an alternative plan or structure. In the following section, I suggest not only how government ministries and departments can be restructured based on my perception of economic and political changes, but also changing social needs, and new technologies available.

1) Office of the President
• The Office of the President shall include a Minister of Presidential Affairs.
• The following shall resort under the Office of the Minister of Presidential Affairs:
i. Auditor-General
ii. Director-General of the Central Intelligence Service
iii. Director-General of Planning
(Each of the above-mentioned shall have its own administration with its own Permanent Secretary)
The Presidential Economic Advisory Council will also be housed in the Office of the President. It shall consist of 5 individuals recognised for their knowledge and experience in business. The Chairperson of the PEAC shall also be one of the Presidential appointments to the National Assembly.

2) Office of the Prime Minister
• Shall be the leader of Government business in Parliament;
• Shall co-ordinate the work of the Cabinet and shall advise and assist the President in the execution of the functions of Government;
• Shall be responsible for the Public Service (government employees);
• Shall represent the Government as employer in labour relations;
• Shall be responsible for the Public Service Information Technology Management;

3) Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• Shall be responsible for interaction with other nations, regional and international organisations;
• Shall be responsible for trade policy and external trade relations;
• Shall be responsible for the promotion of investment opportunities in Namibia (foreign direct investment);
• Shall be responsible for the promotion of Namibia as a tourist destination

4) Ministry of Home Affairs
• Shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a central register. This shall include:
i. Register of Residents;
ii. Register of Marriage Contracts;
iii. Register of Business;
iv. Register of Professions;
v. Register of Property Ownership (land & vehicles);
vi. Register of Licences for Natural Resources and Utilisation;
vii. Register of Trademarks, Patents and Copyright
viii. Register of External Trade;
ix. Register of Court Sentences, Proceedings, Declarations
x. Register of Bankruptcies and Insolvencies
xi. Register of other legal entities:
1. Non-Government Organisations
2. Religious Organisations
3. Welfare Organisations
• Shall make available to every resident any, and all, information recorded and stored concerning that resident.
• Shall be responsible for the control of immigration points and border posts
• Shall be responsible to maintain law and order in the country (Police)

5) Ministry of Environment and Resources
• The Ministry shall be responsible for the following economic activities with the objective of securing economic growth, prosperity and a life of human dignity for all Namibians:
i. Agriculture
ii. Energy
iii. Fisheries and Marine Resources
iv. Forestry
v. Mining
vi. Tourism
vii. Water
• Shall co-ordinate the sustainable management of Namibia’s resources;
• Shall be responsible for the granting of licences, and other administration tasks, in the afore-mentioned economic activities.
• Shall co-ordinate land reform and land resettlement policies and programmes;

6) Ministry of Finance
• Shall be responsible for State Income and Expenditure
• Shall collect all monies payable to the state, in the form of taxes, duties, licence fees, or any other state income;

7) Ministry of Works, Transport and State-owned Enterprises
• Shall be responsible for:
i. Government owned properties
ii. Government owned businesses (state owned enterprises)
• Shall be responsible for Transport (Aviation, Maritime Affairs, Road and Rail);
• Shall be a project management unit for all infrastructure development and maintenance;

8) Ministry of Labour Relations
• Shall be responsible for the tripartite relationship with employees, employers and the state. (In the case of state employees, the Office of the Prime Minister shall represent the Employer.)
• Shall maintain a database of occupations and work together with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Education to provide matching services for skills.

9) Ministry of Trade and Industry
• Shall be responsible for:
i. Consumer Protection
ii. Industrial Development
iii. Export Development
iv. Entrepreneurship

10) Ministry of Education
• Shall be responsible for Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education.
• Shall be responsible for all institutions of learning, both private sector and state. (This will include registration and standards of education provided.)

11) Ministry of Information and Communication-enabled Technologies
• Shall be responsible for disseminating information on the government, its structure and programmes.
• Shall be responsible for the National Library and Information Services;
• Shall oversee developments in ICT for the development of Namibia;
• Shall create and support of Community Centres at all regional and constituency levels. These community centres shall provide information services through broadcasting, print and internet technologies
• Shall regulate the Telecommunications and Broadcasting sector;
• Shall be the custodian of the Access to Information Act

12) Ministry of Justice
(The administrative functions of the judiciary will be done by a department that is headed by a Director-General appointed by the Parliament of Namibia.)
• Shall consist of the following:
i. Office of the Attorney-General
ii. Office of the Prosecutor-General
iii. Office of the Ombudsman

13) Ministry of Health and Social Services
• Shall provide clinics, hospitals and health services to all residents;
• Shall oversee the national social security and national pension scheme;
• Shall be responsible for the payments of old age pensions, war veterans allowances and disability grants;

14) Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare
• Shall be responsible for equality of women in all areas of government;
• Shall be responsible for all areas of child welfare from birth through to primary education

15) Ministry of Regional and Local Government
• Shall assist and regulate the activities of the regional and local governments;
• Shall be responsible for the programme of decentralisation;
• Shall provide administrative support services to regional and the constituency level offices.

16) Ministry of Defence
• Shall be responsible for the defence of the country from external threats;
• Shall be responsible for the protection of our natural resources, on land or in the sea;

17) Ministry of Correctional Services
• Shall be responsible for the carrying out the sentences of the courts;
• Shall identify work programme for the prisoners sentenced to forced labour

18) Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture
• Shall oversee the Directorate of Youth and the National Youth Council;
• Shall be responsible for Sport and Culture in Namibia