H.E. U Win Maw, Member of the Union Civl Service Board: Opening Remark at the Consultative Workshop on the Development of Competency Frameworks for Senior and Executive Officials in Myanmar

Dec 6, 2016

Rooting Competency Frameworks Development in Civil Service Transformation in Myanmar

Esteemed participants…  Men and Women leading our civil service today…  A Warm Welcome to each and every one of you, and thank you for joining us at this Consultative Workshop on Developing Competency Frameworks for Executive and Senior level officials.  

We at UCSB are grateful for your participation and for taking time off from your daily jobs during this busy period.  But this investment is worth it!  I am very confident that all of you here present appreciate our country’s transformation and the need to have the civil service change.  We at the civil service are key to this transformation and we all need to take a moment… pause… and contemplate how we can collectively and individually have a positive contribution to this historic transformation.

The Government of Myanmar has prioritized people-centered development as a development approach and is endeavoring to improve service delivery through a more effective, efficient administration but also and most importantly to establish more transparent and accountable mechanisms and systems.  The Union Civil Service Board is supporting this endeavor and has embarked since mid this year on developing a new vision and plan to reform the civil service.  I would go even further in saying we at UCSB are trying to ‘transform’ the civil service and create a new culture, a new ethos that all civil servants and the broader public would be proud of.  

We have involved since August 2016 all public sector institutions - at union and states and regions levels, civil society organizations and have even reached out to self-administered zones to seek inputs to this new vision and to develop a new reform that would reflect all our aspirations and needs.  I am certain that many of you were present with us at the First Consultative Workshop on the Development of the Strategic Action Plan held on 25-26 August, or at the second round of Consultations that were performed in November 2016 in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, Mandalay and Taunggyi.  UCSB hopes that this Strategic Action Plan will reflect the aspirations of all civil servants and that it would ensure that civil service reforms will have a direct contribution to making the service more efficient, responsive, inclusive and accountable.  

For us to be able to achieve this vision, we need to start by ensuring that we have the right people in the right place.  We also need to ensure that the senior and executive levels present the right set of knowledge, skills and behavior that is required from them to be able to fulfill their jobs effectively.  The UCSB is focused on revisiting our human resources management systems and make them more meritocratic and ethical.  

Many of you would say that this is wishful thinking and that the current excesses in the system will take a long time before they are totally eradicated.  And I would agree with you and I would even clearly mention that bribery and corruption are existing in our system, that favoritism is a phenomenon that many of you have been victims of.  I would go even further and say that in many cases discrimination and nepotism are present at various levels of the administration.  It is healthy to know what issues we are facing, and it is a period like this one that should allow us to reflect and try to find solutions.

The establishment of a new ethos, a new culture across the civil service will not be an easy endeavor and it will take time.  We need to start by putting systems and processes that would allow our civil service to gradually evolve and abide by the principles of meritocracy, professionalism, inclusiveness and responsiveness.  The development of Competency Frameworks is one of the various initiatives that the UCSB has identified in response to the problems I referred to earlier.  

Competencies are the set of knowledge, skills and attitudes that civil servants will need to demonstrate in the fulfillment of their duties and responsibilities.  The Competencies, in modern Human Resources Management, are featured in job descriptions and are benchmarks for recruitments and promotions.  They are also the basis for a good performance evaluation system and contribute to developing adapted and tailored training and capacity development plans for civil servants.
Through the introduction of competency frameworks, the GoM and more specifically the Union Civil Service Board (UCSB), will enable the civil service to attract adequate skills and competencies at entry level and to better prepare in-service officials to assume higher responsibilities, thus making the promotion system more meritocratic and transparent.

The UCSB is partnering with UNDP and UNITAR in the development of the Competency Frameworks.  We are starting with the senior and executive levels categories - Permanent Secretaries, Directors general, Deputy DGs and Directors – for their role in the reform process, but we intend to expand this initiative to all categories of the civil service.  It is important for me to emphasize that the frameworks that will be presented to you today by the experts have been developed through a first series of consultations that have been performed last month, in November 2016.  The proposed frameworks are the work of Myanmar colleagues from our Civil Service who provided their inputs and candid feedback on the Competencies needed for each of the categories we are prioritizing.  

We call upon you to contribute to the process and provide also your candid and truthful feedback to what will be presented today.  These Competency Frameworks once validated will be adopted by the Government and will be piloted through the development of competency driven job descriptions and subsequently will govern the promotion system and procedures.  

Our system is changing and we are the authors of the change!  I encourage you all to be part of the change and to consider this workshop as an opportunity to have your own personal mark on changing our systems and procedures.

I wish you fruitful and engaging deliberations during those two days!

Thank you.

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