The speed of service delivery among government institutions is renowned the world over. Some really classy public service organisations like Rwanda’s Revenue Authority are so efficient that everything associated with them is normally about good performance.
However, the rate of service delivery in other sectors of public service is another matter and is best kept out of view.
But for a little insight, the World Bank stated as recently as 2007 that in certain cases, it takes 162 days for a prospective investor in a firm that can employ 50 people to get formal registration in Rwanda.
Aware of such inadequacies among many civil servants, the government of Rwanda launched the famous Performance Contracts in 2006.
The contracts set out specific objectives for efficient service delivery to the grass root citizenry by local government institutions and they are determined with practical goals which can easily be achieved in the given time.
This include the number of families in a local leader’s area can have access to a radio, health care, education and a home.
As a result of such contracts, Rwanda has been able to achieve significant progress in the health care system for all diseases across the country, increased access to schools and other social and infrastructure amenities.
Rwanda’s performance contracts controlled in Kigali and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sitting in Arusha could have a reader wondering what connection is there between local government service delivery mechanisms and genocide justice.
The connection is in the day to day operations of both institutions.
While local government politicians compete to be voted into office, once they get there, they serve for a given time and come back to campaign among their voters for their mandate to be extended.
As a result, the politicians need to show their voters what they have while in office, and that is where the rate of delivery by all involved in a local government setting comes up.
At the ICTR, there are several institutions whose rate of delivery is not monitored by any system and going by theory output, there is an urgent need for a unique version of performance contracts to be instituted at the ICTR.
The UN Security Council that gives the court a given timeframe and does not require it to have achieved specific objectives in that period.
So when the court takes 15 years to try only 33 cases at the cost of over one billion US dollars, there are no questions concerning the rate of work for all the components involved within the ICTR.
Therefore, when one senior technical figure at this UN court shows up at the office in the morning, hangs his coat behind his desk and goes out of the office until late in the evening, to pick up the coat there are no questions as to what he did that day.
There are also no questions when the court goes back to the UN Security Council after the mentioned 15 years to ask for their mandate to be extended.
The UN grants the extension and the coats hang behind empty desks for one more year!
Well, as government officials have been accused of being lazy and often missing from their work stations, the civil servants have in turn defended themselves saying they are earning ‘peanut’ salaries from public service and therefore they have to offset their incomes by reporting to their ‘day’ jobs and going out to hustle.
The employees of the ICTR cannot point to the same excuse as the reason for their laziness; they are paid very handsomely on top of several dream incentives.
It seems instead that they just don’t care, and in a rather annoying manner, they all know they are very lazy and, as one Michael Habumugisha recently found out; “they all say someone else is responsible for even the most simple task.”
That is what he found out when he took his faulty computer as advised to be repaired in the ICTR computer department.
There are about five new generation young technology department experts working in a crowded room packed with computer gadgets that would dazzle Nyabugogo mechanics.
When Habumugisha’s presence is finally recognised, he is required to fill in copious amounts of paperwork before his computer could be repaired.