MASERU — An April 2013 report by Rajen Prassad on Sustaining coalition Governments in Lesotho advised, among other recommendations, that the coalition government should “reposition the public service as a non-political entity responsible for the hiring and firing of senior public servants”.
Prassad, a New Zealand parliamentarian, is the Commonwealth’s Expert Adviser tasked by the multinational organisation’s secretary general to examine how to go about supporting Lesotho’s coalition government “to be workable”.
Prassad’s appointment followed a letter to the Commonwealth dated September 19 2012 in which the Government Secretary of Lesotho sought assistance from the Commonwealth Secretary General to strengthen dialogue between coalition partners and the functioning of the coalition government.
Prassad widely consulted with various stakeholders including the three principal coalition governing partners.
In the pre-amble to the document on sustaining coalition governments in Lesotho, Prassad said, “People want to see cooperation and collaboration amongst coalition partners and a real focus on the sustainable development of Lesotho based on inclusiveness, transparency and good order.”
Among other recommendations, the report states that the government secretary was to prepare a plan for the Prime Minister and his coalition partners for “the transition of the Lesotho public service to a non-politicised agency” within a given time frame.
The Prassad report also recommended the institution of a public education programme on how citizens would access and relate to a non-political public service.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) offered to assist in capacity building of Permanent Secretaries and other senior officials.
The report recommended that the UNDP offer be factored into the transition process to a non-political public service.