U Min Thu, Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government, met with staff of the General Administration Department (GAD) from Southern and Northern Shan State at the State GAD office in Taunggyi yesterday.
Firstly, the head of the Shan State GAD introduced the Union Minister to everyone in attendance, including the State GAD’s directors, officials of GAD offices from Wa Self-Administered Division and Kokang, Danu, Pa-O, and Palaung self-administered zones, and the district and township administrators. He then explained about the State GAD’s processes and performances. Union Minister U Min Thu then delivered a speech.
Importance of the GAD
In his speech, the Union Minister said he met with various GAD staff on his domestic trips accompanying the President and State Counsellor and explained to them the Union Government’s prioritized policies. He expressed his belief that the GAD staff here will be well informed of that matter. He said the GAD is responsible for implementing the political system laid down by the Constitution. He stressed the importance of systematic decentralization to prepare for the democratic federal system in the near future.
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).
He said the first three months of 2019 have been designated as the stabilization period for the GAD to avoid any unnecessary hindrances to arise from the department’s transfer. At the same time, GAD staff have been questioned of their experiences and willingness for reforms and this will be the base for professional assessment and evaluation so that practical implementation of the next three months for reform processes can be carried out swiftly and effectively, said U Min Thu.
Plans for preliminary development project
He said there is a plan to organize a workshop in Nay Pyi Taw for GAD staff in this month. This workshop will bring in experts and professionals who will share their experiences, lessons, and examples of reforming administration, said U Min Thu, stressing his wish for GAD staff to discuss and ponder on the contents of the workshop among themselves and eventually come up with practical plans for administering reforms.
He explained that they value GAD staff’s ideas and beliefs on amending and reforming what’s necessary. He said they believe genuine and effective reforms requires GAD staff to place their trust and concern on these measures.
The Union Minister said the workshop will also ask each of the secretaries of government from states and regions and Nay Pyi Taw Council to pick one township from their appointed territory and submit a list of three townships to be given priority. He explained that this is the ‘One State – One Township Project’ and involves picking a township with the highest potential and then working to successfully develop them within a set timeframe.
Three points for staff to adhere to
In his conclusion, the Union Minister said through successive government administrations and political systems, the general administration department has remained a strong administrative backbone of the country for many years. He said there are three points he wants to impart for carrying out exemplary reforms and to stand as a strong administrative pillar that is responsive to the public.
The first point, said U Min Thu, is to meet the people, seek their advice and be ready to respond to them in order to become the GAD that promotes public participation.
The second point is to be rid of personal benefits and corruption, said the Union Minister. He told the staff to act in accordance with the laws, rules, regulations and procedures of the nation and to avoid becoming a burden on the people. He said they will take serious measures against corruption and bribery in order to establish the administration mechanism as clean and uncorrupted.
The Union Minister said the third point is carry out reforms bravely while anticipating changes with the knowledge that this will lead to changes for the better. He said reforms in any sector start from the individual level and urged the staff to adopt strong convictions for reforms.
Afterwards, GAD staff in attendance submitted requirements to the Union Minister, who gave necessary suggestions and directions and then urged the staff to respect and follow the policies and procedures of the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government.
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)