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USAID-GEMS Turns over Documents to GC to form Part of its Repository

The United States Agency for International Development’s Government Economic Management Support project commonly known as USAID-GEMS is rounding up its operations in Liberia. USAID-GEMS-Liberia, a government partnership arrangement, has been very instrumental in providing capacity building support to selected government ministries, agencies and commissions (MACs). The idea was to help these MACs develop policies, procedures and implementation mechanisms that would build and/or improve capacity to improve performance in the economic governance areas of financial, human resource, concessions and asset managements, procurement, monitoring and evaluation, and the use of information technology to increase worker efficiency, and the introduction of an e-facilitated national payment system.

As part of its winding down time table, on Wednesday May 18 2016, USAID-GEMS handed over a number of its major working project documentations, including training manuals and reports of its five year work in Liberia, to the Governance Commission in Sinkor to form part of the Commission’s repository.

Speaking at the handover ceremony at the Governance commission, Victoria Cooper-Enchia, Chief of party of the USAID GEMS project reiterated that the objective of the project is to support government institutions in capacity building, the handling of new tools and software that sharpens employee skills to handle difficult work situations, and making deliverables easier, manageable and more work friendly. The handover program was to also review the level of satisfaction from the end user and partner (GC), and to share experiences on the project success stories as it finally closed in June 2016.

Mrs. Cooper-Enchia said over the years, USAID GEMS’s engagements considered capacity building trainings and the use of accounting software as essential to making record keeping, information sharing using open source software, format and reporting more secure and easy to do. She noted that USAID GEMS partnership work  with GC concentrated in the areas of Finance, ICT, Assets registry, Human Resource, Procurement, Maintenance, and Monitoring & Evaluation which together participating employees described as very successful and timely in their work and individual skill improvement.  

Receiving the USAID-GEMS project documentation package, Governance Commission Chair Dr. Amos Sawyer commended the leadership of USAID-GEMS for their commitment to assisting government institutions, including the GC, improve employees’ skills and enhance production/outputs.  He observed that USAID GEMS project was timely and has added to the knowledge base development of the Commission which, in turn, has also increased institution-building opportunities, skill development and positive impact on the overall performance of the institution’s staff.

Dr. Sawyer made special reference to the project methodology used, describing it as very effective and a “consensus building tool that promotes good working relationship which brings a special kind of positive change to the work place”. 

The Commission’s employees who directly benefited from the capacity building programs with heavy concentration from the Administration arm of GC expressed overwhelming successes in their performance as a result of the USAID GEMS engagements. During the feedback session, various units explained how the trainings and equipment have positively affected their outputs.

Finance Unit commended USAID-GEMS for providing Accounting Policy Manual and accounting software (QuickBooks) hands-on trainings, which have enhanced their work in financial transaction and reporting.

The ICT Unit also commended USAID-GEMS’ project leadership for providing trainings in critical areas such as a). Cisco Certified Network and Associate (CCNA); b). Cyberoam Certified Network and Security Professional (CCNSP); c). Microsoft (Small Business Server) Network Administration; and d). ITEL (Service Desk). The availability of hardware equipment such as Server, computers, printers and Cyberoam were impactful in that they helped improve staff skills in:

  1. Troubleshooting; 2. Networking; 3. Cyberoam Configuration; 4. Sharing/networking of Printer; 5. Basic computer repairs; and 6. Maintaining GC’s electronic equipment.

USAID-GEMS also held a 4-day training workshop for ICT of the selected MACs it had been working with in May, 2016 on the topic “Website improvement plan”. Several MACs took advantage of the training which broadened their knowledge on website establishment, security, international systems for assessing website presence, content among others, and the writing of proposals to solicit funding for website improvement.

Procurement Unit

For its part the Procurement Unit expressed gratitude to USAID-GEMS for quality training received during their interactions and period of mentoring, making specific references to the following:

  1. Assisted the Procurement Unit (PU) to customize the standard bidding process;
  2. Filing of procurement documents;
  3. Prepared checklists for compiling procurement records;
  4. Reviewed the Internal Procurement Guidelines prepared by the unit and introduced Framework Contract Agreement currently being utilized by the unit.

Human Resource

The Human Resource Unit noted that USAID-GEMS contributed immensely to the Unit’s re-examination of personnel documentations assuring up-to-date general profile building in:

  • Performance Management System;
  • Performance Evaluation Appraisals Form;
  • HR’s software for documentation; and
  • GC’s Organizational Chart Structure and Staff Job descriptions.

Introduction and availability of these documents have in many ways made the Unit proactive and more focused on human resource management and development issues to meet international standard.

Operations Unit

The Operations Unit includes the Maintenance, Asset Registry and Driver teams.  According to the Unit, USAID-GEMS trainings did enhance staff skills and outputs. The trainings resulted to drivers assuring the daily logging of registered miles covered and fuel usage, and timely reporting of car issues, including periodic maintenance/servicing; Maintenance team has improved asset registry process and procedure; coding asset location by serial number; and proper disposal and tracking of GC assets using the new user registry.  USAID-GEMS also provided a Generator Maintenance Training Manual to the Unit with hands-on directive and mechanical maneuvering trouble shooting techniques, as well as information on periodic and preventive maintenance of the GC generator.

The USAID-GEMS project ends in June 2016.

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