The 14 October 2020 was World Standards Day and according to an official joint statement by the ISO, the International Telecommunication Union (ICT) and the International Electro-Technical Commission (IEC) the theme was chosen to bring the world to attention on the impact that Human activity is having on the planet in terms of Green-House gas emissions as well as damage caused by Human activity in Nature. To NIPAM, as a Government of Namibia’s appointed agency to deliver capacity development to the Namibian public sector, we cannot deliver to the satisfaction of entire public service capacity needs, without guidance and adherence to a set of guidelines or standards that are accepted worldwide. The standards will help NIPAM to hold its workforce and teams responsible and accountable. The practice of aligning capacity development to standards also helps ensure that a higher level of skills investment is attained. Standards will also essentially help and guide NIPAM in the planning, implementation, and assessment of the entire strategy and service delivery. The use of standards to streamline our capacity development interventions will ensure that NIPAM’s practices deliberately focus on agreed upon targets. Teachers follow standards-based instruction to ensure that their students meet the demands targeted.
NIPAM held a Mental Health Seminar on 22 October 2020 to raise awareness on Mental Health Issues and its effects amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The seminar was hosted to help in establishing an advocacy platform for various institutions, scholars and individuals to share their views and commentary on many topics emerging from the discourse current and past trending in Namibia, regionally and the globe. According to NIPAM’s Executive Director, Ms Maria N. Nangolo, the objective is not only educating the public about mental health but also to reduce the stigma and discrimination that people with mental illness are often subjected to. “Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and job stress are common, affecting individuals, their families and co-workers, and the broader community. In addition, they have a direct impact on workplaces through increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased costs. You will also realise that very few Namibians seek treatment for their mental disorders. Therefore, it is part of our goal to promote the fact that Mental illness can be treated even at your nearest clinic, besides hospital or specialised healthcare providers”. Mental Health Activist and Miss Namibia 2018, Selma Kamanya asserted that it is important to sensitise the Namibian community that mental health illness is a reality and an extremely dangerous enemy to our social well-being. “We want to let our people know the importance of recognising the people living with mental health challenges so that they feel and know that they are not alone”.Ms. Kamanya further added that it will be in the best interest of our Namibian community if all our institutions and organisations at large were committed to support those fellow workers and individuals who are struggling with mental health illness. An important part of ensuring wellbeing is the assurance that all Namibians, regardless of their culture, are aware of and are able to access the help and services they need especially supported by institutions who have employed them. The seminar which was successfully attended by close to 40 people from the public and private sectors unpacked the common and uncommon causes of mental health problems and mental health as a result of complex interplay between biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors.
NIPAM is hosting a Mental Health Seminar on the 22nd of October 2020.The seminar will be held at NIPAM campus in Windhoek, Paul Nash street, Olympia. The seminar is open for anyone to attend and is aimed at raising awareness on mental health and the effects during Covid-19. Other topics to be discussed by experienced speakers are, Wellness programmes and Mental health of employees and how they can cope in these current times of Covid-19. Follow this link to rsvp to this event https://nipammentalhealthseminar.app.rsvpify.com
NIPAM KICKSTARTS ITS YEAR 2020 WITH AN INDUCTION AND OPERATIONAL PLANNING REVIEW WORKSHOP FOR BOARD MEMBERS
The Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management has embarked on the orientation and training of its Board of Directors and operational planning review workshop from the 30th to the 31st of January 2020. These two events have been held during the most significant time as the institute has changed most of its board members. Chairperson of NIPAM’s Governing Council, Dr George Simataa said the workshop is meant to review NIPAM’s Strategic plan in order to understand where we have previously gone wrong in the implementation, as well as finding smart alternative ways of achieving our mandate during the economic hardship the country is facing. While the business plan 2020/21 reflects on the previous financial year key performances and lessons learnt, it is also an outcome of in-depth analysis, research and discovery of key areas of focus during the Financial Year 2020/21. Our strategic priorities NIPAM has identified four key priority areas to be attended to during thE financial year 2020/21; People, Culture and Performance, Financial Sustainability, Policies, Business Processes & Systems Architecture and Relevance Revenue generation to ensure financial stability will become our top priority for the financial year 2020/21. NIPAM needs to self-reliantly generate more revenues as the government grants are constantly diminishing. This will be complemented by sound financial and management controls that guarantee financial sustainability. NIPAM will work towards achieving a fully qualified, competent and motivated human talent. To achieve this, a robust investment of effort will be redirected to, NIPAM’s corporate culture building, organisational performance as well as good governance. Moreover, NIPAM must continue to strive to remain relevant to the needs of the market and its customers which is a vehicle to attain competitive advantage. We are strategically positioning NIPAM as a think-tank and expert of choice in the public service while ensuring that our training programmes are a perfect fit for the needs of our customer.
PUBLIC SECTOR INTERNAL AUDITORS CONFERENCE 2019 CONCLUDES WITH LAUNCH OF PUBLIC SECTOR INTERNAL AUDITORS FORUM
Dates: September 30-September-2 October 2019; Venue: NIPAM1.BRIEFThe first ever Public Sector Internal Auditors Conference was held in Windhoek from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October, spearheaded by NIPAM to respond to the growing needs of accountability within the public sector.In the Namibian year of Accountability, which aligns with the public service charter, the Internal Audit function is at the forefront. This function (Internal Audit) is strategic in nature in that its functionaries are expected to adhere to professional code of ethics and therefore lead and exercise sound judgement by exercising internal controls and pointing out organizational risks without fear or favour to management and the leadership of Ministries Agencies and Its offices for findings to be addressed within scope and time.Efficient public service delivery remains a challenge in Namibia, hence (NIPAM) through the establishment of the Public Sector Internal Auditors Forum organised this Conference bent on strengthening the foundation of the Namibian house in which all its residents have a sense of shared identity driven by the public sector values.Currently out of 71, local authorities, village and regional councils only four have received unqualified (clean) audit opinions from the Auditor General, while the rest struggle with qualified audit opinions, adverse opinion and disclaimer of opinion. According to Ms Maria Nangolo, NIPAM Executive Director, “NIPAM however holds the view that if the internal audit function is operationalized and capacitated within the set standards, the assumption is that there will be no qualified opinions. Thus, this conference provided internal auditors with guidance and the call to capacitate and empower the public sector internal auditors to execute their duties guided by the professional code of ethics, furthermore the Auditor General’s office which acts as the external auditors, their findings should receive the seriousness its deserves from the leadership of the Namibian house. We need to pull in unison and ought to hold each other accountable and sound a declarant loud and clear; that no more qualified audit opinions 2021/2022,” she said.2.Establishing of a Public Sector Internal Auditors Forum: The Conference closed off with the election of a first ever Public Sector Forum of Internal Auditors Executive Committee which will serve for a two year term.The current Public Sector Interim Auditors Forum has been chaired by NIPAM Executive Director Ms Maria Nangolo, the Khomas Chief Regional Officer Mr. Clement Mafwila, representatives from the Public Accountants’ and Auditors Board (PAAB), representative from the Ministry of Finance, the Institute of Internal Auditors Namibia (IIA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN).The new committee comprises of:i.Kavii Tjivau: Kharas Regional Councilii.Sebastian Munyaza: Zambezi Regional Counciliii.George Kake: Otjozondjupa Regional Counciliv.Kaino Kangoya: Omusati Regional Councilv.Endeline Iyambo: City of Windhoek a)The objectives of the Public Sector Forum for Internal Auditors will include:To provide best practices in internal audit within the regional and local authorities councils.To share knowledge and information regarding the internal audit’s role, responsibility benefits of internal audit and different audit functions.Providing a forum to discuss best practices in areas including quality control, auditing, independence, and training and continuing professional development;3.NIPAM’s Role In Conference DeliverablesAccording to Ms Nangolo, a key component of the conference deliverables is for Namibia to have 60% unqualified audits by the 2021/2022 financial year from the current 8%. This will be realised through financial and leadership commitment from the different stakeholders at all levels.NIPAM has committed to cooperating with the Auditor General’s Office, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development in spearheading capacity building initiatives within the Finance Departments of the Public Sector, provided there is a financial and leadership buy-in by the local authorities and regional councils themselves.Targeted interventions on capacity building will be done among others, through;Refresher courses of the internal audit and finance divisionsCoaching and mentorship of staff within finance departmentsSeminars for exchange and learningExchange visits to best performing regional councils and local authorities4.Attached are the speeches and well informed presentations of:Hon Dr. Peya Mushelenga, Minister of Urban and Rural Development (MURD)Mr Goms Menette, Deputy Auditor General, Namibia
On 11 July 2019, Head of Mission-Designate of Singapore to Namibia, H.E. Chua Thai-Keong, paid a visit to NIPAM to discuss possible areas for bilateral cooperation on capacity building and exchange programmes between NIPAM and Singapore Civil Service College. The relationship between the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM) and the Civil Service College has been a long-standing one dating as far back as 2010 although without a systematic approach to cement the relationship between the counterpart institutions responsible for delivering public sector capacity development initiatives. The most recent training intervention given NIPAM’s role in facilitating governance, leadership and public administration was undertaken based on the broad bilateral agreement between Namibia and Singapore. This training took the form of the Singaporean government offering two five - day training courses on Governance and Public Administration for Permanent Secretaries and Senior Government Officials at the Civil Service College of Singapore (CSCS) in July and September 2017. Specifically, the programme was aimed at providing key insights into Singapore’s experience through examining key areas such as governance, corruption control, budgetary and fiscal policies, economic development and public sector leadership. The delegation was sent to the Civil Service College of Singapore, which is considered as a world class service provider, to be exposed to good practices in order to assist the Namibian Government’s resolve to improve service delivery. Through the support of the Office of Prime Minister, and in particular through the Secretary to the Cabinet as well as the Bilateral agreement between Namibia and Singapore a provisional action plan has been developed on the way forward.
NIPAM Employees were taken through a weeklong training programme on ISO 9001: 2015 quality management systems by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) from 6 to 10 May 2019. The workshop was aimed at raising awareness on the ISO 9001:2015 Namibian Standards, improving staff competencies and technical know-how on ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System as it relates to ISO 9001 Principles, Context of the Organisation, Leadership, Planning, Support, Operations, Performance Evaluation and Improvement and repositioning NIPAM towards its goal of accreditation. NIPAM Executive Director, Ms. Maria N. Nangolo said, the ISO programme is a new journey NIPAM wish to embark upon to get a functional Quality Management System in place which will also support the envisaged Accreditation process. Establishment and implementation of a Quality Management System is one of the key quality requirements for accreditation with NQA since there is an outcry for NIPAM to produce programmes and courses that are not only relevant but also accredited. “As the leader of the Academic Team, it is my view that we need to develop the short courses into Unit Standards. Such an approach will benefit us in the sense that different Unit Standards can lead to a qualification over a period of time. This will allow our clients to benefit from qualification articulation arrangements to enter into institutions of higher learning”, Ms. Nangolo highlighted. It is the plan of the institute to have the ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Management System in place and revise learning programmes and courses in a form of Unit Standards and Qualifications so that by 2020 accredited training programmes are offered. The purpose of introducing ISO 9001 Quality Management System in our context are not only to secure accreditation status with the NQA but most importantly are as follows: To consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements; Enhance customer satisfaction Managing risks and opportunities and Demonstrate conformity to specified QMS requirements.
NIPAM employees embarked on a strategic review and planning workshop on 24 – 26 April 2019 to reflect on past achievements, challenges and plan for the future expectations of the institution. The focus areas of the workshop was to produce an aligned strategic business plan for NIPAM to enable development of a 2019/2020 annual operational plan to pave way to a realistic and outcomes based annual budget.to revive our commitments to performance agreements and relook into our operational frameworks The exercise has also provided employees a picture of their new tasks and responsibilities which will become a blueprint for implementation in line with the goals and objectives contained within the institute strategic business plan 2017/18 – 2021/22. Through this workshop NIPAM has created an opportunity and advantage for re-focused development of performance to ensure that everyone in the institute is working towards common strategic priorities. The workshop has also created an opportunity for convenient development of NIPAM’s annual budget through resource allocation towards strategic priorities which will define the spending approach.
Employees from Oshikoto Regional Council attended the Performance Management five days training course from 25 – 29 March 2019. Oshikoto Regional Council, Director of Planning & Development, Ms Victoria Kapenda said the knowledge conveyed during the training will allow them to deliver their services more successfully as they embark on becoming a region of excellence. The purpose of this course is to equip all staff members in the Namibian Public Sector with the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to develop performance agreements and compile performance reports.
The second group of employees mainly Administrators and Learning Development Officials from Oshikoto Regional Council are attending a five-day Business Writing Skills Programme from 4 to 8 February 2019. Course facilitator, Metusalem Nakale said, the programme has been designed to provide public sector employees with principle techniques and practical knowledge for analysing, structuring and writing memoranda, minutes, reports and submissions for improved communication within the public sector organisations. “The programme draws insights from the concept of genres of organizational communication which makes it very unique in the Namibian context”. Course participants noted that they would like to acquire new skills to depart from traditional approaches of writing and adapt writing techniques that focus on products at the expense of processes that writers go through in crafting business communication.