Nigerian president orders procurement officials to favour domestic firms

Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has signed an Executive Order requiring public bodies to give preference to Nigerian companies when awarding procurement contracts. Executive Order 5, issued earlier this month with immediate effect, also requires the Ministry of the Interior to stop issuing visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria. Announcing the […]

New commissioners appointed to promote British trade in key markets

The UK government has begun appointing a set of new trade commissioners, in a bid to strengthen its support for exports as the country faces an uncertain future outside the EU. The first three appointments announced cover China, South Asia and North America, and represent the first of nine people in the job of Her […]

White House calls for pay freeze and benefits cuts

US federal employee organisations have sounded the alarm over a pay freeze and other provisions set out this week in the White House’s 2019 budget recommendation, warning that implementing the cuts would hamper recruitment. The suite of documents, issued on Monday by the White House Office of Management and Budget, proposes a freeze on across-the-board […]

TV contest for honest civil servants opens in South Africa

South Africans are being invited to name the country’s most honest and upstanding civil servants in a reality TV contest, with the winner receiving the title Integrity Idol. The show, run by global transparency NGO Accountability Lab, aims to bring the pizzazz of a prime-time talent contest for aspiring pop stars to the fight against […]

Gambia to introduce ‘score cards’ for civil servants

Gambia’s new Secretary General and Civil Service chief Habib Saihou Drammeh has hinted at introducing different score cards to assess the performance and output of civil servants. Drammeh made the suggestion while addressing the Gambian cabinet after taking his oaths of allegiance, office and secrecy at the State House in Banjul, the capital city. During […]

Singapore launches new cyber security regime

Singapore is to have a new cybersecurity tsar with wide-ranging powers to seize confidential information and impose penalties under legislation passed by its parliament on Monday last week. The Cybersecurity Bill requires owners of computer systems involved in the provision of essential public services in 11 designated areas to meet a set of statutory obligations […]

World Bank funds roll-out of Tajikistan’s social safety net

Tajikistan is set to launch a nationwide roll-out of its new social assistance programme for poor and vulnerable people after receiving US$1.8 million from the World Bank. The extra finance for the Tajikistan Social Safety Net Strengthening Project has been provided by the bank’s International Development Association, which lends money to the world’s poorest countries […]

Trump appoints his first federal CIO

US president Donald Trump has announced plans to appoint Ernst & Young principal Suzette Kent as the nation’s next chief information officer (CIO), the first permanent holder of that title in a year. Dallas-based Kent was previously a partner at Accenture, a managing director at JPMorgan and president of global payments consulting for Carreker Corporation. […]

US agencies exhibit poor IT oversight, auditors find

Twenty-one of 22 US federal agencies studied breached official guidance by failing to identify $4.5bn (€3.6bn) worth of information technology contracts – almost a quarter of their total IT obligations – in fiscal year 2016, the US government’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found. In conducting audits of their procurement deals required to ensure that […]

Officials ready to rejig poor contracts, says UK government chief executive

UK civil service chief executive John Manzoni hinted last week that the government might wish to revisit some poorly-functioning private sector delivery contracts, in the wake of the high-profile collapse of major contractor Carillion. In recent years, he told an audience at the London School of Economics, the civil service has been improving its commercial […]

Northern Ireland hitting budgetary crunch point, warns permanent secretary

A budget for Northern Ireland needs to be set before Thursday 8 February, the head of the province’s civil service has warned. Northern Ireland Civil Service permanent secretary David Sterling said that the 2018-19 budget must be set before the start of parliament’s two-week recess on 8 February in order for departments to plan their […]

Civil servants caught in crossfire as Tories battle over Brexit

A minister in the UK’s Brexit department has condemned an official economic forecast produced in part by his own civil servants as “an attempt to undermine our exit from the EU,” after the document was leaked ahead of a crucial Cabinet debate. The paper, entitled ‘EU Exit Analysis – Cross Whitehall Briefing’, was developed by […]

US officials’ shut-down pay bill passed amidst confused signals

Last week’s bill ending the US government shut-down has confirmed that federal civil servants will be paid for the three-day ‘furlough’ of 20-22 January – but hopes that officials would be guaranteed payment in future shut-downs appear to have been dashed. The continuing resolution included an amendment, sponsored by Mississippi Republican senator Thad Cochran, guaranteeing […]

Burundi officials told to pay for elections

Burundi’s civil servants have been told to contribute a proportion of their salaries to a fund established to pay for the country’s 2020 general elections, after international donors halted aid flows following a disputed election. In a move which has been described as “organised robbery” by rights groups, interior minister Pascal Barandagiye informed civil servants […]

Democracy in ‘crisis’ around the globe, says US think tank

Political freedom declined around the world in 2017 as the United States retreated from its traditional role as a champion of democracy, according to Washington DC-based think tank Freedom House. For the 12th consecutive year, there was a worldwide deterioration in political rights and civil liberties, with conditions worsening in 71 countries and improving in […]

Ombudsman calls for ECB chief to quit global bankers’ club

The EU ombudsman has called on the president of the European Central Bank to stop taking part in the ‘Group of Thirty’ – a global alliance of banking leaders working on economic and financial issues. Mario Draghi’s membership of the group, which meets behind closed doors, could damage public confidence in the independence of the […]

EU observers call for electoral reform in Kenya

EU observers have called on Kenya to reform its electoral system following a catalogue of violence and intimidation at last year’s disputed presidential election. President Uhuru Kenyatta won an October rerun of the August presidential vote, after the Supreme Court annulled the first election over irregularities. He was sworn in for a second term in […]

University to train 40 Afghan officials in policy making

The Afghan government has created an opportunity for civil servants working as policy analysts to strengthen their skills by taking a new Master’s degree. It has struck an agreement with the University of Central Asia to deliver an Executive Master’s programme in economic policy to officials tasked with implementing the National Peace and Development Framework: […]

Benefits department handed ‘impossible’ caseload, says former chief

The incoming 2010 UK government handed its benefits department such a vast caseload of policies and reforms that “it would have literally been impossible for it all to have gone well,” the department’s retiring chief has told Global Government Forum in an extensive interview. Sir Robert Devereux, who has just retired after seven years as […]

Civil servants to benefit first in Icelandic equal pay reforms

Government ministries and agencies are set to be among the first wave of organisations implementing Iceland’s new legislation mandating equal pay for women. The Nordic nation is the first country in the world to make it illegal for men to earn more than women working in equivalent jobs. The legislation, which was passed by Iceland’s […]