Overview of the Office of the Prime Minister

With the dawn of democracy and the adoption of a new final Namibian Constitution in 1990, a provision under Article 32 of the Namibian Constitution was made for the establishment of the Office of the Prime Minister.

Article 36 of the Constitution stipulates:"the Prime Minister shall be the leader of Government business in Parliament, shall co-ordinate the work of the Cabinet as head of administration, and shall perform other functions as may be designated by the President or the Vice-President in the execution of the functions of Government."

 

Since 1993 and before the Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Act, 2014 (Act No. 8 of 2014), made a provision for the President to appoint a Vice-President to deputize him, the Prime Minister played a pivotal role of deputizing the President whenever he was out of the country.

 

By extension, in terms of the provisions of the Public Service Act of 1995 (Act. No. 2 of 1995), the Prime Minister is also responsible for the overall management of the Public Service.

By virtue of the Prime Minister's responsibilities as the leader of government business in Parliament, as the coordinator of the work of Cabinet and the political authority responsible for the Public Service, the Prime Minister's task involves coordinating the work of the government's inter-ministerial and inter-governmental levels and projecting a positive image of the government.

The Office of the Prime Minster is at the apex of the system of government in the Republic of Namibia. The Office of the Prime Minster is located in the Namibian capital, Windhoek and is situated in the Parliament Building, 55 Love Street, between the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation (MIRCO), Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and the Tintenpalast. The Tintenpalast (German word for "Ink Palace") is the seat of both chambers of the Parliament of Namibia namely, the National Council and the National Assembly since 1990.

The Office of thee Prime Minister is historical building that houses the first Cabinet Chamber and the Constitution Room, in which most of the country's legislatures were drafted.

The Office of the Prime Minister comprises of three political principals: the Prime Minister, who is the head of government, the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, the Secretary to Cabinet. In the past, OPM also had Deputy Ministers.

OPM has structures which support its governance operations namely: the Cabinet Secretariat, the Public Office Bearer Commission Secretariat POBCS, the Public Service Commission Secretariat (PSCS) and various departments.

The Cabinet Office provides administrative support to Cabinet. It implements administrative systems and processes to ensure the overall optimal functioning of the Cabinet and its committees. It also facilitates the management of decision-making processes of the Cabinet and its Committees.

The POBCS is responsible for assisting the Public Office Bearers in making recommendations on the remuneration and conditions of services of Public Office Bearers (POBs), while PSCS is an independent Chapter 13 body that promotes constitutional values and principles governing public administration throughout the public service.