Dear Madam President, We, a group of concerned citizens of the epublic of Liberia, wish to thank you very profoundly for introducing the performance contract policy in your government.
We express appreciation because, to use one of our trite expressions, it is the right step in the right direction. Many individuals, once they are appointed in government, feel that the best thing to do is to behave to the President as nicely as possible, which they consider a guarantee for staying on the job, instead of focusing on formulating and implementing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals in the interest of the state and its inhabitants. In short, a great deal of our public officials feels complacent after they have been given a job. And there is a need for some wake-up call to keep ringing bell in their ears.
It is also good that it is they, not you, who are to come up with their own realistically implementable programs. There are too many do-nothing public servants out there, and they are used to the do-nothingness. There’s a need for a paradigm shift in this mindset. Your policy is the right one. In a sense, you are applying a form of management by objectives (MBO). That’s why we are pleased to express our gratitude to you for inaugurating the performance contract policy in your second-term government.
In our view, there is nothing wrong in professionally and pragmatically forcing your ministers and directors to help you move the country forward. The point is that at the end of the day, it is you who get praised or blamed. It is your administration that will be discredited tomorrow, if things don’t go well. For instance, we blame the late President Samuel K. Doe for the failure of his government to do certain things. We hardly think about or mention his cabinet ministers and other officials. The same is true about former President Charles Taylor. It is needful that you give your appointees hell, just as we, the citizens, will also give you hell.
Sympathy should not cause you to keep any indolent individuals in government. Let their stay on the job be based on their performance. Let the lay-backs be kicked out. Some of them feel that placing positive advertisements about you in various newspapers is what will cause you to keep them. They wink at productiveness and glory in sycophancy. We welcome your words: "The will be evaluated on the basis of their performance, and that will be a determination for their continuation." Thank you, Madam President!
That Said, Madam President, we hope you really mean what you are saying. We know what you said in 2006 about corruption being Public Enemy Number One under your administration. You are aware that you disappointed Liberians, as well as the very international community that is backing your leadership. Will you really translate words into deeds this time around?
We also hope that you will apply the rule unbiasedly. In other words, Madam President, we hope you will highlight the poor performance – the unproductiveness – of your staunch supporters and partisans who will also be in government. Don’t protect your friends and confidents, while you constantly intimidate others. We hope it is not a trap intended to weed out people whom you will, one way or another, be forced to appoint, especially as various individuals and institutions call upon you to appoint opposition figures. It shouldn’t be a snare designed to appoint and dismiss members of the opposition or individuals you are already fed up with but don’t know how to get rid off, while protecting those dear to your heart. We know there are so many ways to kill the ants, and you, being a master politician, definitely know too many ways how to get rid off opposition members working in your government.
Anyway, Madam President, we welcome the performance contract policy, for it will keep appointed officials on their feet, but, at the same time, we ask that in applying the rule, favoritism, partisanship, loyalty should be disregarded. Above all else, the application should be in the interest of the country and its people, not yours.