Land Boards’ Performance Pulls Ministry Down

| June 11, 2015

Minister of Lands and Housing, Mr Prince Maele, says land boards poor performance impact on the ministry’s performance.

Addressing Malete Land Board members and staff recently, Mr Maele said the ministry’s October 2014 performance stood at 69 per cent, which was below the pass mark of 70 per cent.

He added that in May this year, the ministry’s performance was at 68 per cent which had them at position six out of 16 ministries. That, he said was a course for concern as it meant the ministry was now required to be reviewed twice a year instead of once.

“It is noted that the lowly rated objectives are those dealing with the core mandate of the ministry under land management,” he added.

As a result, Minister Maele encouraged all staff members to make meaningful contributions to improve the ministry performance and to also invest time and energy in building its image.

Currently, he said customers had negative perception about the ministry’s image, which he added at times was fuelled by the poor treatment that some of the staff members exposed them to. The poor treatment, he said included, amongst others, non-response or delays in responding to customer issues, lack of acknowledgement to correspondence and lack of respect to clients.

The ministry’s work, Mr Maele said required good collaboration with stakeholders.

Therefore, he encouraged staff to build and manage their relations with Bogosi, councils, District Administration, community organisations, service or utility providers as well as communities they served.

Furthermore, Minister Maele was also concerned about inadequate and poor supervision within the organisations, which he argued created breeding ground for poor performance and corruption.

To curb such, he said responsibilities should be clearly cascaded to the lower levels within organisations.

He noted that supervisors at all levels should discharge their responsibilities, which include knowing what their officers were doing at all times, getting reports and in turn providing feedback or giving direction to subordinates.

He said he had received complaints from the public that some Land Boards could meet without previous Board minutes.

However, the minister indicated that Board minutes were crucial for decision making and referencing by Land Boards and directed the Board chairperson never to hold or continue with Board meetings in the absence of such.

Another problem, he said was that Land Boards worked in silos, which he argued also made it difficult to overcome challenges within organisations.

The ministry units, Mr Maele said needed to work coherently and share resources in order to save costs and bring efficiency.

“Every position or cadre in the Land Board is very important. We should therefore work as a team as this will improve the performance of the Land Board and the ministry as a whole,” he added.

He noted that Land Board members and staff, just like any other Motswana, were also entitled to apply for plots.

However, he urged them to do so through following all the right channels of land application and avoid using inside information for their aantage.

In view of the fact that poor records keeping made it difficult to make decisions, prepare for court cases or conclude cases, the minister stressed that there was need to improve the management of Land Boards records, saying that would also help to curb corrupt practices.

He said the ministry had issued funds to improve records management throughout the Land Boards, adding such would go a long way in improving security of records and organisational efficiency.

Further, Mr Maele appealed to all Land Board members and staff to eliminate corruption in all its manifestations because they were all duty bound to take action against any forms of corruption.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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