Address by H.E. Dr. Win Thein, Chairman of the Union Civil Service Board at the Consultative Workshop on the Civil Service Reform Strategic Action Plan

Aug 25, 2016

Your Excellency Vice-President U Myint Swe, Excellencies Union Ministers, Honorable Members of Parliament, Government Institutions, representatives of States and Regions, international community and the diplomatic corps, esteemed guests from the Myanmar Civil Society, Members of the Union Civil Service Board and all other responsible persons, Mingalar Par.

The Union Civil Service Board has managed to organize the first ever national consultations on Civil Service Reform and for that, we would like first to thank all those who supported this consultative workshop. We are keen on having with us today government institutions from Union and States and Regions levels, but also the Members of Parliament and Civil Society Organizations who are representing the general public today and we invite you all to consider this event as yours and to support us in ‘reinventing the Civil Service’ and partake actively in the discussions.  Civil Service Reform is in fact our joint responsibility. And while the UCSB holds the mandate over Civil Service selection, training, setting rules and regulations as per the Constitution, we at the Board see this endeavor as collective and are looking forward to joining forces with the international community to receive ideas and technical advice. At the same time, we will need to ensure that the Civil Service Reform and modernization is done in accordance to the high expectation of the people and of our civil service personnel.

Since assuming office in April of this year, the Government has pointed out the need for civil servants to be more efficient in the transformation of the civil service and more broadly the transformation of the administration. The Government has also pointed out the need for Civil Service Institutions to serve the people, to become more people-centric, transparent and accountable and to earn trust from the people.  The UCSB is abiding by these policy guidelines and intends to push the boundaries even further and will be working on ‘reinventing’ the civil service in Myanmar.

Our Civil Service today presents systems which are not transparent, and there are many things to be reformed due to centralization and weak practices.  The Civil Service is in need to be ‘reinvented’, to become more responsive to the people, more effective and efficient in delivering essential services, and more transparent and accountable.  It most importantly requires to reflect the aspirations of the people of Myanmar who strive for more decentralization and devolution of authority.  

This requires for the service, as rightfully mentioned by H.E. U Myint Swe, to have an appropriate and correct System and the reform Strategy. It is for these reasons that our Civil Service needs to be ‘reinvented’!  We all aspire to a Service of excellence, an institution each and every Myanmar citizen would feel represented in and proud of.

The UCSB has already started looking through diagnostic work we are performing with many of our international partners, into necessary ways to develop the Civil Service.

The UCSB will be soon launching the results and the report of ‘The perception survey on Ethics, Meritocracy and Equal Opportunities in the Myanmar Civil Service’, undertaken jointly with the United Nations Development Programme.  This Survey has allowed UCSB to establish a baseline on integrity, meritocracy and equality in the service and will be used in revising our civil service regulations and systems. In fact, and as many of you have already heard, the UCSB is currently looking into revising the Civil Service Law and these revisions will support the Civil Servants to effectively carry out their daily tasks. We pursue work with the Hluttaw and governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to amend some articles of the Civil Service Law as well as strengthening the observance of the Civil Service Rules and Regulations. It is through the effective application of these instruments that illicit practice, bias and inefficiency would be effectively combatted and the trust of the people regained.

On top of this, through this workshop, you would all help us in providing necessary suggestions in carrying out Law and practices regarding capacity building of the civil service, training, discipline and civil service affairs.

The UCSB by providing the required Civil Service frameworks, will be able to support the decentralization process and for the States and Regions to assume more human resources management functions.

The Union Civil Service Board has initiated with the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the EU/GOPA, an establishment of the Civil Service Academy, review of our training approach and methods and are in the process of redefining our training and capacity building paradigm.  As we all know – the civil service training and capacity development require an uplift to meet international standards and to become more effective and responsive to the needs of our staff.  The UCSB is planning to establish in early 2017 a Civil Service Academy that would allow for training and development to be improved, but would also look at modernizing its training methods and trainers’ skills.  We are currently working on developing the curricula of the Academy, restructuring and getting the trainers and are hopeful that many of our international partners would join us in strengthening the capacity development and teaching in Myanmar.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the Public Service, we need to modernize the Civil Service. The Union Civil Service Board will motivate the civil service personnel, seeing them as public servants and for them to be able to have professionalism, responsive, accountable. You will also see that H.E. U Myint Swe has touched on the importance of more responsive administrative mechanism in his opening speech.

The UCSB based on its mandate is involved in these discussions and we will be contributing to the betterment of the Civil Service as a whole and capacity building of the Civil Servants so that for the Service to become more competitive and attract more talented young professionals.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if we can reach to a stage where we can control the reform process, we will be able to reach a sustainable reform that we desire. When we manage a transformation, if we have 5 factors which are vision, professionalism, incentives, resources and practical plan, we can reach a successful transformation. Civil Service Reform is to be regarded as an importance pillar of the socio-economic development of Myanmar.

This workshop is to be considered as a first step to ‘reinvent’ the Civil Service through determining a new vision and a dedicated Strategic Action Plan that would allow the Government of Myanmar to achieve transformation and modernization. The Action Plan will be geared towards ensuring the Service embodies the values and principles of integrity, meritocracy, professionalism and equality and it is through these values and principles that the Civil Servants will gain trust from the people and will play the main role in the modernization of the country. We are anticipating that this workshop would provide a wealth of insights on the priorities, opportunities and also the challenges facing the Myanmar Civil Service. Through them, the UCSB will be able to solve the challenges in establishing a civil service which is not only responsive to the needs of the people and to the aspirations of civil service personnel, but also effectively embrace the decentralization and modernization of the Public Service.

Once again, I would like to stress on the importance to have all stakeholders engaged and involved in the process.  The UCSB is not the sole contributor to this holistic reform endeavor and we would like to encourage all stakeholders to actively partake in discussions and providing us with your inputs to design the Action Plan.  I wish to take this opportunity to invite our international guests, donors and development partners, to be part of this open and transparent discussion.  

I wish to conclude with the assurance that this process will remain consultative from point until we can have an efficient strategic plan.

Thank you all for being part of this event.

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