Morocco King: State Agencies Suffer from Several Shortcomings
“They also suffer from an inflated workforce, from the lack of competence and from the absence of a sense of responsibility among many employees”, the Sovereign said in a speech before the members of the Parliament’s two houses (the House of Representatives and the House of Advisors) at the opening of the first session of the first legislative year of the tenth legislature.
The civil service basically suffers from a longstanding culture which is widespread among most Moroccans, who think that the civil service is a refuge that guarantees them a monthly salary without having to account for performance, HM the King added.
For the Monarch, the goal of state agencies is to enable the citizen to obtain the services he needs in the best conditions and shortest time frame, to simplify procedures and to make sure that services are readily available to the citizens and that institutions are accessible to them.
When dealing with state agencies, citizens face a wide range of difficulties, be it in terms of reception, communication or the processing of files and documents – so much so that in the citizen’s mind, this has come to resemble an obstacle course, the Sovereign noted, pointing out that it is not reasonable that a citizen should bear the cost and trouble of going to a government institution – whether it is a consulate, a prefecture, a commune or a regional delegation – especially if he or she is from a far-off region, and find no one to receive him or her, or provide the service needed.
“It is unacceptable that a government institution should fail to answer people’s queries or complaints, as if citizens did not matter, or were merely a small part of the administrative landscape”, HM the King stressed.
“Without citizens, there can be no state agencies. Citizens are therefore entitled to answers to their letters; they are entitled to solutions to the problems submitted to government bodies”, the Monarch underlined, adding that government bodies are “duty-bound to explain matters to people and to justify decisions, which must be based on the law”.
In this context, the Sovereign noted that many citizens complain, for instance, about expropriation issues, either because the State did not compensate them for their property, or because the compensation process took many years and was, therefore, detrimental to their interests, or because the amount of compensation was less than the market price, or for any other reason.
HM the King also underlined that a field which clearly illustrates the problems facing the citizens in their dealing with state agencies is that of investment; as there are still hurdles to investment, despite the creation of regional centers and the single window to simplify procedures and speed up the decision-making process.
“It is true that, in some cases, investors’ files are incomplete, but instead of helping these investors and proposing solutions to encourage them, matters are made more complicated for them, and additional hurdles and impediments are created”, the Monarch noted, adding that with “such a mentality and attitude, single windows will not be of any use”.
“The situation is unacceptable and it should not continue to exist. When an investor receives no reply, or when his problem is not solved, he takes his money back to the bank, if he resides in Morocco”, the Sovereign said, adding that if the investor is a Moroccan expatriate who chooses to invest in his home country, he has no other alternative but to take his money and go back abroad.
“As a result, our country is deprived of opportunities for investment and development. And the citizens are denied employment opportunities”, HM the King underlined.
Despite the shortcomings of some state agencies, the picture is not all bleak; nor does this mean that those agencies are not discharging their duties, the Sovereign underlined, adding that state agencies have highly professional and technical capabilities, and their performance is improving.
“This is clearly evidenced by the major projects being implemented, as well as by the successful national and sectoral policies which have transformed the country, and which have played a prominent role in the progress made in all fields”, the Monarch pointed out.
“Nevertheless, my ambition goes beyond that, and the citizens’ expectations are higher than what government institutions are currently offering. In fact, state agencies need to improve performance to keep up with the progress Morocco is making”, HM the King said.
In this context, the Sovereign urged everyone – the Government, Parliament, political parties, trade unions, civil society organizations and civil servants – to commit to a keen sense of national responsibility in order to come up with real solutions so as to enhance the performance of state agencies and to improve the quality of the services offered to the citizens.