Positions undertake two district roles
19 Nov 2023
The positions of Chief of Staff and Permanent Secretary to the President undertake two distinct roles.
The Minister for State President Mr Kabo Morwaeng told Parliament that the Chief of Staff role, according to its job effectiveness description, was to direct and oversee implementation of national priorities in alignment with political pronouncements.
He said the Permanent Secretary to the President was the head of public service as provided for under section 8 of the Public Service Act.
Mr Morwaeng also noted that through the rationalisation of government portfolio responsibilities exercise, the National Strategy Office and the Government Implementation and Coordination Office (GICO) had been grouped together with related and complementary functions such as development planning.
He said this resulted in the establishment of the National Planning Commission whose mandate was to provide inclusive leadership in national strategy development, planning, implementation coordination and performance monitoring.
Mr Morwaeng said the organogram for his ministry and Office of the President (OP) was drawn following the announcement of government portfolios and finally approved by the Upper Panel in July 2023, adding that it would be availed for appreciation.
He said the Chief of Staff position was established under the OP with a distinct function to direct and oversee implementation of national priorities, adding that it included monitoring government performance in alignment with political pronouncements made by the government of the day.
In this regard, Mr Morwaeng said there were no overlaps in relation to roles and responsibilities between the Chief of Staff and the PSP.
In addition, he said section 56 of the Constitution provided that the power to constitute and abolish offices vested in the President.
Further to this, section 112(2) (f) of the Constitution provided for the President to appoint a person, to any other super scale office by prescribing for such offices in an Act of Parliament, he said.
Minister Morwaeng said there were different Acts of Parliament which had been enacted including the Public Service Act, which provided for such superscale offices.
He said the Chief of Staff position fell under such offices as was described under section 112(2) (f) of the Constitution, as such these provisions provided legal authority for the creation of the position.
In this role the Chief of Staff does not have the power to discipline staff. The Constitution and other Acts of Parliament were clear who exercises the disciplinary function. The legal principle was that the power to appoint included the power to remove and exercise disciplinary control.
He said there were different Acts of Parliament which provided for such superscale offices, citing that the function to be performed in such offices dictated whether there was need for a discrete Act of Parliament or not.
In terms of the Chief of Staff, the Public Service Act applied to the functions that the office performed as outlined above and therefore there was no need for a discrete Act of Parliament to establish that office, he said.
Moreover, Mr Morwaeng said Section 112(1) of the Constitution provided that only the President had the power to remove and exercise disciplinary control over persons appointed under section 112 of the constitution.
He said the Chief of Staff position was not the only position that reported directly to President and indirectly to PSP, adding that as explained, section 112 of the Constitution provided for a number of positions.
These positions were different from the ones where the PSP was the appointing authority, which was at varying levels of responsibility.
Mr Morwaeng said section 52 of the constitution provided for Permanent Secretaries and subject to the direction and control of a minister, provided for ministries to be under the supervision of Permanent Secretaries.
In this instance, he said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for State President facilitated the establishment of positions for Office of the President, adding that the Chief of Staff job was graded by the Upper Panel at its sitting of July 22, 2021.
He said the Ambassador at Large title does not refer to an established position, hence it was not graded.
It is an administrative title used to give certain individuals some assignments on a short term basis before they transition to an established position either inside or outside government, he said.
Mr Morwaeng also stated that there was record of proceedings and signed Assessment Sheet of the Upper Panel on the Chief of Staff’s position; and the monthly and annual salaries of all employees of government by their different contracts of employment were outlined in the white papers.
Serowe South MP, Mr Leepetswe Lesedi had asked the minister to clarify the roles and functions of Chief of Staff, the Permanent Secretary to the President and the National Strategy Office as well as Government Implementation and Coordination office.ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : BOPA
Location : GABORONE
Event : Parliament
Date : 19 Nov 2023