Gov’t Office Minister Urges GAD Officials to Serve the Public with Transparency

By The Irrawaddy 10 January 2019

YANGON—U Min Thu, minister for the Office of the Union Government, has urged General Administration Department (GAD) staff to change their mindset and shed old habits when carrying out their duties, according to the Ministry of Information.

The minister held a meeting on Wednesday with GAD staff working at the township, district and state levels in Kachin State to explain policy and other changes in the wake of the formerly military-run department’s transfer to the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government.

U Min Thu said the reason for the transfer was to establish an administrative mechanism that is in line with the political system the country is working towards, and to ensure good governance.

Formerly overseen by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA), the GAD has for more than 30 years formed the backbone of Myanmar’s public administration. Under the 2008 Constitution, MOHA is one of three ministries led by major-generals appointed by the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

GAD is authorized to support government security efforts, the rule of law and stability, and enforce some civil laws. Its duties also include reporting on population movements, security incidents and basic demographic data, and conveying relevant information back to Naypyitaw.

U Min Thu instructed the civil servants to follow the policies and processes of the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government.

He said GAD staff at all levels must ensure that the administrative system is smooth, fair, just, free of corruption and transparent.

The Union minister also encouraged GAD staff not to be overly concerned about the department’s transfer, urging them to continue working as normal and to fulfill their duties.

He instructed them to implement any reforms in line with changing policies and instructions.

GAD officials should always be ready to address the needs of the public, he said, adding that they had a special responsibility because they worked closely with the people, who placed a lot of trust in them.

The Ministry of the Office of the Union Government was created by the current administration. In November, U Min Thu, a retired colonel and former Air Force pilot, was appointed as its minister. Last week, a senior Home Affairs Ministry official who serves as director general of the GAD, U Tin Myint, was appointed as a deputy minister at the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government.