By Sanna Camara
President Barrow presides over Cabinet meeting today, Friday, 17 May 2019. The meeting was aimed at introducing Cabinet members to the concept and work of a new policy unit at the Office of the President, called the Department of Strategic Policy and Delivery.
The Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Mr. Ebrima O. Camara informed Cabinet that the unit has been placed under the supervision of Mr. Mai Ahmad Fatty, Special Adviser to the President on Governance and Policy, for strategic political oversight. It is headed at technical level by Mr. Alhagie Nyangado as Director General, and Permanent Secretary, Muhammed Jallow, along with other support staff.
The creation of this unit takes inspiration from countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Canada and the UK, among others. The idea was first introduced by Mr. Tony Blair as Prime Minister of the UK some twenty years ago. Today, several governments around the world have created delivery units at the centre of government in order to accelerate performance and improvement.
In his statement that was followed by a presentation by the Director General, Mr. Ahmad Fatty explained that the introduction of a delivery department here in The Gambia is driven by the need for a balancing of government from policy to implementation. “… a need for a broader range of technical tools to better understand the quality of progress being made, and the desire to improve overall management of government,” Fatty told the Cabinet.
The initiative is a performance management reform intervention mechanism at the centre of government. It places high priority on problem solving, improving civil service performance and securing sharper focus on government priorities.