New struc­ture for pub­lic ser­vice

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - De­bra Matabvu

THE Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion is ex­am­in­ing the roles, func­tions and man­dates of Govern­ment min­istries and de­part­ments as part of a process to come up with a new civil ser­vice struc­ture.

Govern­ment is cre­at­ing a leaner and more ef­fec­tive civil ser­vice ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing on Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa’s vi­sion of an up­per mid­dle-class econ­omy by 2030.

To aid the re­struc­tur­ing, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa — in his weekly col­umn in The Sun­day Mail — says a bio­met­ric reg­is­ter to flush out ghost work­ers will be in­tro­duced.

More than 158 994 civil ser­vants are on Govern­ment’s pay­roll, with about 123 000 (23 per­cent) em­ployed by the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion.

Sec­re­tary to the Ser­vice Com­mis­sions Am­bas­sador Jonathan Wutawu­nashe told The Sun­day Mail last week that ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion in­volved elim­i­nat­ing du­pli­ca­tion of roles, abo­li­tion of va­cant and non-es­sen­tial posts, re­de­ploy­ment of re­dun­dant work­ers, op­ti­mi­sa­tion of de­part­men­tal func­tions and re­tire­ment of el­i­gi­ble staff.

Posts for clerks, ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers, typ­ists, data cap­tur­ers and dark room as­sis­tances have

◆ been abol­ished.

The new civil ser­vice struc­ture will be tai­lor-made to suit on­go­ing de­vo­lu­tion of Govern­ment func­tions.

The Ex­ec­u­tive, Am­bas­safor Wutawu­nashe said, set the tone for the re­struc­tur­ing via lim­it­ing the num­ber of line min­istries to 20.

“The sec­ond level at which the civil ser­vice will be re­duced en­tails a clearer def­i­ni­tion of func­tions of Govern­ment min­istries, with par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on en­hanc­ing their ca­pac­i­ties to drive the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme and other blue­prints that may emerge so as to achieve Vi­sion 2030,” said Am­bas­sador Wutawu­nashe.

“The com­bined anal­y­sis of min­istries and de­part­ments, the op­ti­mi­sa­tion of man­dates, clearly defin­ing func­tion will also have an im­pact on the struc­tures of min­istries to be sup­ported by per­son­nel and fi­nan­cial re­sources from Trea­sury.

“This will be achieved through a core-func­tional anal­y­sis of the new man­dates of min­istries and de­part­ments as ar­tic­u­lated by His Ex­cel­lency, the Pres­i­dent.”

The new struc­ture of Govern­ment — which will be aligned to en­hanced man­dates and func­tions of min­istries and de­part­ments — will de­ter­mine the num­ber of civil ser­vants on the pay­roll. Where ap­pro­pri­ate, the com­mis­sion will re­de­ploy, reskill, mul­ti­skill, re­as­sign and ca­pac­i­tate some of the af­fected staff mem­bers.

But re­dun­dant po­si­tions have since been abol­ished.

Am­bas­sador Wutawu­nashe said, “Clerks, ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers, typ­ists, data cap­tur­ers and dark room as­sis­tant posts were found to be no longer rel­e­vant and were im­me­di­ately abol­ished so there will be no new re­cruit­ment into th­ese posts.

“Mem­bers al­ready oc­cu­py­ing th­ese posts are en­cour­aged to ad­vance their skills and on at­tain­ment of higher and pro­fes­sional skills will be re­graded.”

The re­struc­tur­ing will be “sen­si­tive to crit­i­cal needs ar­eas”.

Per­son­nel ad­judged to be in ex­cess of the re­quire­ments might be re­de­ployed to ap­pro­pri­ate sec­tors.

In his weekly col­umn, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said Govern­ment would use a bio­met­ric reg­is­ter to elim­i­nate ghost work­ers.

“A time-lined raft of mea­sures on that front will be an­nounced soon, in­clud­ing an ex­er­cise in de­vel­op­ing a bio­met­ric reg­is­ter of all civil ser­vants on govern­ment pay­roll which should elim­i­nate leak­ages through ghost work­ers,” he said.

Bio­met­ric sys­tems are in­creas­ingly be­ing used glob­ally to en­hance se­cu­rity, de­vel­op­ment ground-break­ing sys­tems and pre­vent fraud.

In In­dia, some mi­cro-fi­nance in­sti­tu­tions are us­ing bio­met­ric-en­hanced au­then­ti­ca­tion to is­sue loans to the pop­u­lous na­tion’s un­banked ru­ral pop­u­la­tion.

Sec­re­tary for Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Mr Ge­orge Gu­va­matanga on Mon­day told leg­is­la­tors that the 2019 and 2020 Na­tional Bud­gets would cut the pub­lic ser­vice wage bill by $200 mil­lion and $130 mil­lion re­spec­tively.

Hu­man re­sources ex­pert Mr Mem­ory Nguwi said it was heart­en­ing that Govern­ment ac­knowl­edged that the cur­rent staff-in­come ra­tio is un­sus­tain­able. “This is a step in the right di­rec­tion as staff ex­penses ac­count for a huge chunk of the Na­tional Bud­get. I am happy that au­thor­i­ties have re­alised that the staff cost-to-in­come ra­tio is un­sus­tain­able as it leaves no room to fund crit­i­cal na­tional projects and im­por­tant ser­vices.

“When­ever staff ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion takes place, those likely to be af­fected will not take it well. What I want to as­sure civil ser­vants is that staff ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion is a nor­mal process of run­ning or­gan­i­sa­tions. This is hap­pen­ing ev­ery day in the pri­vate sec­tor,” he said.

A 2015 au­dit re­port es­tab­lished wide­spread du­pli­ca­tion of roles in the pub­lic sec­tor.

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