ECOWAS Reviews Staff Regulations

Abuja, Nigeria – 8th February 2019 - The ECOWAS Commission recently organized a four-day staff regulations review forum in Abuja, Nigeria. The consultative meeting held from 4th to 8th February 2019 discussed ways and means of improving the draft community staff regulations. The review meeting presided over by the ECOWAS Commissioner for human resources brought together human resource managers, DAFs and legal officers, as well as representatives of the commission and the court of Justice.

The main highlights of the retreat include discussions on strategic decisions in human resource management, the commission’s human resource benchmarking report and the new performance evaluation system amongst others.

In his welcoming address, the Commissioner for Human Resources Prof. Dias Furtado Jeremias, said the Commission in partnership with the African Union, UEMOA and the European Union earlier carried out a benchmarking exercise in order to enhance the draft Staff Regulations. He thus stressed the need for concerted efforts to ensure the success of the staff regulations review.

Speaking earlier, the representative of GIZ Nathalie Ba lauded the reactivation of activities under the ECOWAS Staff Regulations Review, which began in 2015. She spoke of ICZM’s continued resolve to support ECOWAS in ensuring that the revised regulations are adopted this year (2019).

The ICZM consultant Temcheff in his presentation said the Staff Regulations should include strategic decisions such as recruitment, training, performance, compensation and assessment policies and procedures. ECORYS Consultant Ms. Frechette presented the new performance evaluation system proposed to the Commission. The proposed system also highlights the training and capacity building needs of the staff. The forum further deliberated on the key competencies of ECOWAS presented by an ICZM consultant Mr. Ibrahim and the results of the benchmarking mission undertaken by the Commission in May and June 2018 tabled by the Acting Director of Human resources at the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Yaouza Ouro-sama.

At the end of the presentations, participants made recommendations for inclusion in the draft Staff Regulations. These include provisions that can facilitate the definition and establishment of an organizational culture that will ensure the sustainability of the organization’s institutional memory and the maintenance of the current maximum age requirement of 50 years for applying positions at ECOWAS.  Participants also underscored the need to examine the possibility of implementing a contract policy to better legislate on the status of contract workers and suggested the upholding of quarterly review of salaries and housing allowances, as well as planning recruitment programmes to facilitate access to employment for people with special need.

It was also recommended that the human, administrative and financial resources staff made available functional reports to ECOWAS commissioners and heads of various institutions and agencies. The gathering further stressed the need to provide rules for the delegation of authority to facilitate the functioning of institutions.

Participants also agreed on sending to the human resource unit of the commission, appraisals on the list of definitions proposed by the consultant 15 days after receipt of the document. It was also proposed that participants in this retreat forms the same group of experts for subsequent feedback and validation meetings. The next meeting on the draft revision of the staff regulations is scheduled to take place in Cabo Verde.