List of Permanent Secretaries in Namibia

List of Permanent Secretaries in Namibia

Who is a Permanent Secretary?

Permanent secretaries are the non-political civil service heads (and “accounting officers”) or chief executives of government departments, who generally hold their position for a number of years (thus “permanent”) at a ministry as distinct from the changing political secretaries of state to whom they report and provide advice [Wikipedia].

Overview of Permanent Secretary Jobs in Namibia

A permanent secretary is the most senior rank of a civil servant in Namibia. They include officials who head government departments, but there are other civil servants who are also permanent secretary grade. They include some senior ambassadors, security agency leaders, and the heads of some non-ministerial departments, for example the national statistician at the Office for National Statistics.

The following is a listing of the generic duties of a Permanent Secretary:

a. provide support and advice to the Minister, among other things by:

b. Anticipating issues in the Senate and House of Representatives or the media.

c. Managing current issues and problems, keeping the Minister fully informed.

Some departments also have a ‘second permanent secretary’ who is the second most senior official in a department but also holding a permanent secretary rank.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many permanent secretaries are there in Namibia?

The government does not publish a single list of permanent secretaries, but based on multiple sources (the government’s high-earners dataset, the list of accounting officers, an answer to a parliamentary question), there are around 10-50 permanent secretaries.

Who do permanent secretaries report to?

The permanent secretary is the accounting officer for their department, reporting to Parliament. They are responsible for the day-to-day running of the department, including the budget.

How are permanent secretaries appointed in Namibia?

Permanent secretaries are formally appointed by the prime minister, who is the minister for the civil service.

Who appoints a permanent secretary in Namibia?

Permanent secretaries are appointed under a scheme in which the prime minister has the final say in the recruitment process; the PM now chooses directly from a list created by the Civil Service Commissioners, rather than only having a veto over the Commissioners’ preferred candidate.

How powerful are permanent secretaries in Namibia?

Permanent secretaries can be very influential, both as the most senior policy adviser to ministers and through the executive leadership responsibilities they hold.

What does an undersecretary do in Namibia?

An Undersecretary is typically a political appointee. They may head specific sub-departments or agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency or be responsible for a specific area of policy within the department.

Who is senior undersecretary or joint secretary?

The Joint Secretary level is called Middle-Level Management in the Ministry of Government. In a ministry, there may be as many secretaries as the number of departments. The senior-most secretary coordinates the work of other secretaries.

How many years does it take to become a joint secretary?

Even earlier, an IAS officer would usually become eligible for empanelment as a joint secretary at the Centre after 16 years of service. However, in reality, many of them would get impaneled only after 18 years of service.