There is uncertainty over the funding of the Public Service Reforms Programme (PSRP) following its transfer to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
Major financiers such as the Germany government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), have not made any commitment to continue supporting the programme after the expiry of the commission’s mandate on January 31 2017.
The reforms programme, which was at the heart of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) adminstration’s campaign, has been under the office of the Vice-President Saulos Chilima since its inception.
UNDP resident representative Mia Seppo, whose organisation supported the programme with $3 million (about K2.2 billion), said a project under which support to the public reforms agenda was provided closed last December.
“The UNDP is aligning its future support to the government’s priorities, which will be defined in the ongoing national development planning process. As such, continued support to public sector reform will be considered as part of the overall prioritisation process of UNDP support in partnership with the Government of Malawi and development partners, where it can have the greatest impact,” she said.
But sources within the government establishment said the donor agencies were not happy with government’s decision to move the responsibility of managing the reforms to OPC.
Country director for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Matthias Rompel, said in a questionnaire on Tuesday that while the reforms had not fully met all its targets, but some progress had been made.
He said:”The reform agenda is aspiring, but needed. Results have been mixed—depending on the sector—and further efforts are needed to fully implement the ambitious reform agenda with good results, and in good time.”
Asked if the government of Germany had made any commitment to support the programme in the future, Rompel said: “There has been no specific commitment to the public sector reforms beyond the contribution through the sector support programmes, which GIZ and KfW implement on behalf of the German Government.”
However, in an interview yesterday, Information Minister Nicholas Dausi insisted that the decision would not in any way affect funding of the programme.
Principal Secretary for Reforms Nwazi Nthambala, denied any knowledge of donors withdrawing from the programme. n