SMALL GOVERNMENT AND BETTER SERVICE DELIVERY IN LIBERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF THE 2008 CIVIL SERVICE REFORM
The study appraised ways in which the 2008 Civil service Reform could lead to Small Government and Better Service Delivery in Liberia. This became necessary because of the collapsed of the merit-based system during the war that affected service delivery which inadvertently brought in lack of competent and skill workers into the Civil Service system; hence the reason for the study.
The survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study was two government ministries in Monrovia with the population of 16,985; out of which a sample size of 508 employees were randomly selected. The reliability test of the questionnaire was 0.839 Cronbach’s Alpha (α).Questionnaire and oral interview were instruments used for data collection. Out of the 508 copies of questionnaire administered to the two sampled ministries, 492 were obtained and analyzed. The data collected was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version twenty one (21).
Consequently, the study revealed that (74%) of the respondents of the sampled ministries were of the opinion that service delivery in Liberia is now better than prior to the 2008 Civil Service Reform. The study showed that 65.1% of the respondents were of the view that the concept of Small Government is incrementally leading to better Service Delivery in Liberia. It was again unearthed that the reengineering of government ministerial structures has reduced bureaucratic bottom necks and has also brought governance closer to the people. The research excursion further ascertained that lack of “political will (71.0%), corruption (80.1%) nepotism (78.1%), mediocrity (74.2%), and lack of sustainability (68.7%) are critical factors that are militating against effective and efficient service in Liberia.
The study therefore concluded that when emphases are placed on the concept of Small Government, inevitably, service delivery in Liberia will improve. From these findings, recommendations were proposed: that the gains so far identified in the sampled ministries be replicated to other ministries that are yet to undergo the tenets (rightsizing, restructuring, downsizing, and removal of ghost names) of Small Government, Better Service. The study also proffered that government formulates regulatory laws that will attract private sector to invest into dormant State Owned Enterprises in order to absorb those affected by the processes of mergers, amalgamation, and reorganization of government administrative structures. Equally, political will should emanate from top to bottom, and as such should be derived from within those ministries. On corruption, the study recommended that the Liberia Anti- Corruption Commission (LACC) be given prosecutorial power where a special court is established to swiftly adjudicate identified corruption cases.
Keywords: Civil Service Reform, Restructuring, Rightsizing, Merger and Downsizin