Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid
In the previous article, I presented my third proposal which calls for establishing a policy-making office affiliated to the Prime Minister, specialized in formulating public policies and assisting the government in the decisions making process. I am fully convinced that this office is an appropriate mechanism to strengthen the government’s performance, based on scientific studies and research, and it could help in achieving the goals and objectives of the Prime Minister’s initiative. Below are some more details on my proposal, but first we should draw the attention of everyone not to be confused and mix this policy-making office with the council or center of the strategic planning, which we will discuss later.
The Prime Minister’s Office for Policies and Decision-Making Support is a governmental work unit, an office of specialized experts, whose mission is to help the Prime Minister & the government in formulating public policies and to support the decision-making process concerning the daily governance affairs. It researches and studies various files, then addresses the possibilities and expectations, and proposes to the Prime Minister the appropriate scenarios and alternatives. It coordinates policies related to internal & foreign political affairs, national security policies, and economic and social affairs. The processing of the tasks & files in the office, up to providing the appropriate advice, should take the shortest possible duration of time. The office also provides the necessary studies to support the implementation of Cabinet strategies. It contributes to strengthening the partnership between the government and the civil society, as well as between the civilian & the military forces.
Specifically, the office undertakes the following tasks:
- Research and study the files related to the public policies and the daily work of the Prime Minister’s office.
- Studying and analyzing the information related to the urgent issues, phenomena, and general problems, and presenting initiatives with different options and scenarios, as well as supporting the decision-making and the implementation modalities.
- Coordinating with other centers and units in monitoring and analyzing the public opinion trends.
- Strengthening the state’s relationship with societal sectors, mainly the youth, women, civil society, and the military.
- Acting as an early warning device to address existing and potential challenges, and to suggest effective measures to deal with them well in advance.
- Suggesting political initiatives that address issues of equitable justice & development, rebuilding the social contract, combating discrimination, and achieving national unity.
The structure of the office should be very simple, a group of full-time experts, a group of par time experts, a small administrative staff. The criteria for the office staff are limited to the scientific knowledge, experience, specialization, and high professionalism, away from any partisan or regional political quotas or otherwise. To broaden participation in the examination of each file, the office organizes seminars, workshops, and brainstorming sessions in which experts from outside the office participate, taking into account political, ethnic, and gender representation. The office has no direct connection with the ministers and officials, and its work should not intersect or interfere with the tasks of any other governmental institution or unit. Therefore, its relation with the government and the state body is carried only through the Prime Minister. Transparency & accountability should be observed in the whole work & activities of the Prime Minister Policy-making office, and as a governmental work unit, all the civil service laws, as well as the governmental administrative procedures, should be applied to the office, and irrespective of its independent financing, it should be subjected to the audit process by the Auditor General of Sudan government.