Downsizing Govt depts

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THE Government has started downsizing the public service, beginning with the Treasury Department, an official says.
Treasury deputy secretary Napa Hurim revealed this when responding to questions from Institute of National Affairs’ executive director Paul Barker on what the Government plans were to cut back on “ghost names” that were on the public service payroll.
“What is being done to go through the payroll to try to identify ghosts and areas for cuts?” he asked during the Budget press lockup yesterday.
“We know there is a significant number of ghosts in the public sector payroll.
“If those ghosts are identified then money can be made available to other areas of expenditure.”
Hurim said they had started on the cleansing exercise.
“You’re quite right that we have some ghost names in the payroll,” he said.
“As part of the payroll cleansing, we have put a lot of effort into that as part of the retirement exercise.
“That comes as a package, the retirement exercise is not done in isolation.
“We have to go to the payroll and check names and confirm and validate and all of those things.
“With Department of Personnel Management, Finance and Treasury, and the relevant agencies, we have been on the road throughout this year conducting something like the reviews.
“Through that exercise, we have identified names and we are cleaning up the payroll.
“We have started in Treasury.
“For example, when we adopted a new structure in Treasury, we had new divisions created but we didn’t move people.
“They were running under different costs.
“Although they were budgeted in one area, they were working in other areas that was running zero expenditure while the other was running over.
“So part of the payroll cleansing exercise, we had to move the staff across to the area actually budgeted for.
“We’ve made that correction and it was successful and now we are running this exercise on a larger scale.
“We have set the pace this year on what we are going to do next year.”

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