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Malawi government welcomes proposed vehicle fleet management system

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Malawi government might take up suggestions from analysts to consider overhauling its vehicle fleet management system in order to save public resources, The Daily Times has learnt.

The news follows an observation from a financial analyst who suggested that government can save money by withdrawing vehicles from principal secretaries, directors and other government heads and start providing them with vehicle loans and fuel allowances.

“This can be extended to Judicial officers who can use these loans to purchase their own cars other than government managing a fleet of cars for them as this is not cost-effective,” the analyst opined.

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Principal Secretary for Public Service Reform Nwazi Nthambala said she would like to consider this idea.

“We are encouraging solicitation of ideas and that is one of such ideas that we are in need of. Please send it to my office,” she said.

Treasury spokesperson Nat ions Msowoya also described this as a solution to public fleet management.

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“It’s a good proposal which I am sure government needs to seriously consider,” he said.

Executive Director for the Malawi Economic Justice Network, Dalitso Kubalasa, observed that a similar case was already shared with government a few years ago.

“The Public Sector Reforms urgently needed taking a leaf from what was already undertaken in similar circumstances in Rwanda and how much savings they have already yielded as a best practice worth emulating,” said Kubalasa.

Private companies that have taken this route, according to the analyst, have saved huge amounts of money by creating vehicle ownership schemes for manager and other officers other than letting them use institutional vehicles.

“One institution alone was able to cut vehicle operation costs by 62 percent when it withdrew company vehicles from managers and started providing them with vehicle loans and fuel allowances,” said the analyst.

Kubalasa said these would be examples and lessons the country must be drawing energy from as soon as possible, especially “when we are pressed between a rock and hard place as we are economically”.

“With no one to turn to but ourselves in re-orienting our public services priorities, we need investments in a sustainable and progressive manner,” he said before adding:

“As a matter of urgency, it would also be important to hear how far we expect to go before we can start seeing the fruits of the Public Sector Reforms that among others stand to see the restructuring of the civil service in the quest for efficiency gains that will in the long run deal with the befitting wages and salaries for a highly motivated and efficient civil service.”

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