Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government, U Min Thu, who is in Loikaw, Kayah State, met with staff of the General Administration Department (GAD) from state, district and township offices, at Loikaw Tsp Hall yesterday.
Firstly, U Khin Maung Win, the Head of Kayah State GAD introduced the Union Minister to everyone in attendance. He then explained about the State GAD’s processes and performances. Union Minister U Min Thu then delivered a speech.
Speech by Union Minister U Min Thu
The Union Minister said the General Administration Department has been agreed to be transferred to the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government during Union Government Meeting No. (23/2018) on 28 December 2018. He explained that the reason for the transfer is to be consistent with President U Win Myint’s Myanmar New Year speech in April 2018 to initiate government reforms and decentralize institutions.
The Union Minister said the transfer also aims to establish an administrative mechanism that is in line with the political system the country is working towards, and for the emergence of good governance. He said the administrative mechanism has been traditionally viewed from an administrator’s perspective. He said it is linked to political systems. He said it is important for the administrative mechanism to change its view as civil servants in the current administration elected by the people. He said the GAD must change with the shifting political landscape and be consistent with the regions and states.
Making gradual changes in the GAD
The Union Minister said they have to work towards the national reconciliation and peace process lead by the State Counsellor so as to be ready to walk together towards the democratic federal Union the whole country is heading to. He said they must take slow steps in implementing changes to the political system, national policy, and aspirations and eventually speed things up.
The Union Minister said his ministry will listen to experts and GAD staff to implement visible changes with the GAD, which is the backbone of the administrative mechanism. He said his ministry will facilitate cooperation, negotiations, and coordination to build capacity and form necessary groups to carry out step-by-step implementations of the aforementioned changes. He said GAD staff should face these changes devoid of apprehension and perform them systematically and persistently.
The Union Minister said he has regularly engaged in conversation with GAD staff and the general summary of their discussion is they know where and what changes need to be made to bring good results. He said they know changes can be made in the workplace. He said there are worries in changing routine processes. He said not to fear change but to take pride in being able to change.
GAD needs to address illegal drugs, squatter issues
The Union Minister said the administrative mechanism now comprises a direct link from the Union level down to the region and state, district, township, and ward and village level.
He said the GAD are in direct contact with the public and must actively participate in eradicating illegal drugs. He said members of the public are afraid to come forward with information on illegal drug dealers. He asked whether the GAD staff, who are working in the closest capacity with the public are ‘ignorant of the situation or turning a blind eye’.
The Union Minister also talked about the numerous cases of squatters. He said ignoring one or two squatters in the GAD’s designated territory eventually leads to a mass invasion of squatters. This leads to difficulties for the government and the public, he said. He said this is the same case with land rights. He said the GAD staff need to be more diligent and responsible, and must try harder in the future.
GAD staff need not worry of changes
The Union Minister concluded by laying down two points he wished for GAD staff to consider.
The first point is to cast away any worries concerning the General Administration Department’s transfer to the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government, said the Union Minister. He said the administrative system needs to be stable first before initiating reforms. He told the staff to continue working as normal, fulfilling their duties, while adhering to the law, rules and regulations in place. He instructed them to carry out reforms in line with any changing policies and instructions.
The second point, said the Union Minister, is to carry out reforms and changes while considering the goodwill and benefit of the people. He said the GAD needs to bring about visible change in their convictions and spirit so that the public increases their trust in the GAD. He concluded his speech by wishing GAD staff peace of mind and happiness in carrying out the new changes and continuing their work.
Afterwards, GAD staff in attendance submitted requirements to the Union Minister, who gave necessary suggestions and directions.
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)