By Elkass Sannoh
The Office of Sierra Leone’s Chief Minister was controversially misunderstood after being created by President Julius Maada Bio in 2018 as part of his efforts to ensuring that his New Direction Government delivers on key strategic priorities.
Over the years the Chief Minister, Prof. David J. Francis, has attracted development partners and foreign diplomats to the admiration of President Bio making the office strategically important in achieving the country’s Medium Term National Development Plan, 2019 to 2023.
At a virtual meeting summoned by President Bio at State House in Freetown, the Chief Minister, Prof. Francis told development partners that irrespective of the deadly effect of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID 19) which started in Wuhan Province in China, they have made progress as a Government in winning the fight. He thanked them on behalf of the President, Government and people of Sierra Leone for their unwavering support, as according to him, “we are very grateful.”
In another engagement in his office with the British High Commissioner, Mr. Simon Mustard and head of DfID, Kobi Bentley, the Chief Minister reiterated Government’s commitment on service delivery, adding that the President’s vision is to transform Sierra Leone through human capital development. In all those engagements, he has several times assured that the Government will continue to work with development partners to achieve this vision.
Chief Minister’s roles and responsibilities include but not limited to serving as central hub to facilitate the co-ordination and implementation of government policies across all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). As directed by the President, the Chief Minister chairs the 3 cross-cutting sectorial ministries for inter-governmental co-ordination including: Education and Social Development Sector Ministries; Finance and Economic Development Sector Ministries, and the Peace, Security and Justice Sector Ministries.
The Office of the Chief Minister performs an advisory, supervisory and coordinating functions of all cabinet ministers to ensure they deliver in a timely manner. Also, to ensuring that they meet their deliverables scheduled in their performance contracts.
The Office of the Chief Minister incorporates the former Office of the Chief of Staff and is supported by the following strategic Directorates: Directorate of Presidential Infrastructural Projects and Service Delivery (DPIPSD); Directorate of Strategy, Policy and Planning (DSPP); Directorate of Performance Management, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPMME); Millennium Challenge Coordinating Unit (MCCU); and Directorate of Institute for Science and Technology (DIST). Like other Ministries, the Permanent Secretary provides the administrative leadership for the Office of the Chief Minister.