Friday, May 11, 2007

PSC admits failures in govt restructuring

PSC admits failures in govt restructuring
By Charles Mangwato in Choma
Friday May 11, 2007 [04:00]

THE Public Service Commission (PSC) has admitted that the ongoing restructuring in government ministries and departments has brought with it tremendous inefficiency which has negatively affected operations of the civil service. Receiving oral submissions from civil servants in Choma yesterday, PSC chairperson Austin Mweemba admitted that some new officers appointed to positions under the restructured ministries and departments lacked capacity to delivery despite possessing proper qualifications.

Mweemba said the new appointees appeared to lack administrative knowledge on the terms and conditions of service for civil servants resulting in subordinate officers working for many years without being confirmed or appointed to the civil service.

He told the meeting attended by civil servants from Choma, Kalomo, Sinazongwe and Namwala held at Choma Trades Training Institute that newly appointed officers appeared to be more content with possession of qualifications than knowing their jobs.

"If we are going to see a situation where a degree holder will be supervised by a diploma holder, do not resist because you have failed to perform despite your good qualifications," Mweemba said.

He singled out the ministry of agriculture as the major culprit despite the ministry having gone through several restructuring processes since 2004.

Mweemba said several complaints had emerged from officers serving under the ministry during meetings held by the commission in Siavonga, Mazabuka and Monze this week.
The complaints received centred on lack of confirmations, wrong appointments and poor handling of administrative issues resulting in officers being demotivated in their work.

He said the commission was extremely disappointed with the ministry of agriculture but said relevant steps will be taken to correct the situation.

Mweemba said when government embarked on the restructuring exercise, it envisaged having a lean and efficient civil service but it had not been so.

He said there was need to revisit the issue of restructure as the commission was of the view that wrong people were being put into positions.

"We are concerned that restructuring has brought along with it tremendous inefficiency. The people we have put in place only boast of their papers when they have no knowledge of on how to go about their work," noted Mweemba.

And acting Choma district commissioner Mungoni Simulilika told the commission that some officers who had reached the retirement age of 55 had not been served with letters of retirement despite numerous requests by the affected officers.

"They have continued working beyond their retirement age. This is a matter of serious concern," observed Simulilika.

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