Then National, Tuesday 11th September, 2012
By STARZA PAUL
THE O’Neill-led government will be much tougher on the performances of public servants.
The Department of Personnel Management has begun cracking down on personal attendance at work and on the use of government vehicles, two of the most often abused areas of conduct of civil servants, through a circular instruction No.15 of 2012 that was issued last month.
Department of Personnel Management secretary John Kali said yesterday that no public servants would be paid for absenteeism at work unless their case was genuine.
“Every public servant upon calling in for work must clock in so that their timings can be recorded and they will only be paid for the hours that they are actually at work.”
Kali said although they had the system previously departmental heads had been too lenient on workers.
He said this lackluster performance right across the board from the top managers down to the rank-and-file would be checked so that everybody is doing what he or she is being paid to do.
“Human resources delegates of each department both at the national and provincial levels will be tasked to keep records of lost time and payroll deduction as routine in the agencies,” he said.
He said the government was concerned about the absenteeism of workers who were still getting paid without delivering services.
Kali said he did not know how much the government had wasted in paying employees for absenteeism in the past but now when payment reports were made to the Department of Finance and Treasury, they would have a clear knowledge in the future.
“Three weeks ago, we had a briefing with other departmental heads and the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on how well we will address this serious issue. We already came up with some incentives to stop off-line payments.”
Kali said the government had given directions and orders to departments to fit government vehicles with government number plates quickly to restrain abuse of vehicles.
“Also persons who are authorized will drive government vehicles to prevent abuse of government vehicles.”
Deputy secretaries of departments are allowed to drive with unrestricted usage and all others will have restricted driving permits.
Of all police cars, the police commissioner will identify and know which will go with the “Z” plates and which not to, he said.
“This is because sometimes during special operations, police vehicles need to go under cover for security reasons so this will only be the department in which some chosen vehicles will not have government number plates.”