Feedback Vital – Bakwena

| May 26, 2015

The Ombudsman, Ms Festinah Bakwena says they have resolved to reduce cases brought before Ombudsman by giving ministries feedback.

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Thursday, May 21, Ms Bakwena said the Ombudsman could make a lot of impact on reducing complaints because cases brought before the office were of similar trend of officers who were not acquainted with the general orders, hence not knowing where to report certain matters.

She said there was a tendency to report cases as maladministration, whereas in-fact they were injustices created by legitimate processes in place.

Ms Bakwena said the office has also resolved to aise government that some processes be amended because they were causing injustices. She argued that with good feedback, some of the things would not have been happening.

That, she said, suggested that cascading good practice in public service was lacking. On other issues, she said it was about time some legislative reforms were put in place at the Ombudsman. She said the Ombudsman had noticed that the Ombudsman Act needed to be amended because since its enactment in 1995.

She however noted that they had started identifying and working on some provisions that needed amendment, but have since stopped after the last state-of-nation address announced an additional mandate with regards to human rights that needed to be included.

“Immediately, we take on board human rights, we have to amend the act in order to amalgamate human rights issues in it,” she said.

She noted that they were at an initial stage of working on the amendments.

Asked as to what could make the work of Ombudsman easier and allay perceptions that the office was toothless, she said even if the Ombudsman was independent to do its work, the structures in place created such perceptions.

“Even if you know as the Ombudsman that you do not take orders from someone else, the fact that you are known to report to another office, creates uneasiness and lack of trust on the Ombudsman,” she said.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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