| 17 February, 2017

Hariri: Public sector will embrace tech

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri speaks at the opening of the Arab Economic Forum in Beirut

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri speaks at the opening of the Arab Economic Forum in Beirut

Reuters/Jamal Saidi

17 February 2017

BEIRUT, Lebanon: Prime Minister Saad Hariri Thursday said that public institutions will look to incorporate technological advances, while Minister of State for Administrative Development Inaya Ezzeddine called for the establishment of human resources units. The event at the Grand Serail was organized by the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform and entitled “Strengthening Human Resource Management in the Lebanese Public Sector.”

During his speech, Hariri stressed the necessity of incorporating the use of technological advances into the public sector. “Developing the administration and strengthening human resource management in the public sector was one of the priorities of my father martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who believed in ... keeping pace with global modernity,” Hariri said, according to a statement released by his office. “There are areas where we have not evolved and this should not continue,” he added.

Hariri urged Lebanon to keep up with global trends saying, “Methods used in the administration were old, but with the evolution of technology and computerization, there are modern ways for administrative work in all countries of the world that must be adopted in the various departments of our state.”

While saying he acknowledged that change is difficult, Hariri said, “We all have to push for change ... through the use of technology.”

Ezzeddine then called for the formation of a ministerial committee for human resources to reform HR management in the Lebanese public sector. “We are trying to establish a culture in the human resources department in Lebanon,” Ezzeddine told The Daily Star.

The program, she added, was the culmination of three years of work and was meant to establish a lasting system that would include specific criteria for career advancement within public institutions. “Through training the citizen and the employees, they will then ... be promoted based on criteria, rather than strictly because he or she has been in a post for 10 or so years,” she said.

A pilot training program within the project included employees from the Social Affairs, Industry, Tourism and Health Ministries. “We started with a few [ministries] and we hope this will be implemented across all the ministries eventually,” she said.

The Cabinet’s only female minister added that the project will take some time to be uniformly implemented. “This type of implemented work needs time ... because it isn’t possible to do [overnight],” Ezzeddine said in her speech at the event.

However, she told The Daily Star that her ministry is not looking to replace any already existing institutions. “The State Ministry for Administrative Development is clear that it is not and will not be a substitute taking the place of supervisory bodies and professional institutions, rather it is a body to lean on to improve and develop institutions,” she said.

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