Public servants must shape up or ship out, warns Maladina

National, Normal

The National – Friday, December 10, 2010

NEW Public Service Minister Moses Maladina has warned departmental heads and public servants to either shape up or ship out.
He said this after widespread public comments on the deterioration in service delivery and performance of public servants.
Maladina said he was also committed to ensuring quality public service implementation and weeding out corruption in consistent with the government objective of bringing services to the people.
“I am serious about supporting improved remuneration for good public servants and weeding out those who fail to perform or those involved in petty corruption in return for performing their normal duties.”
He said the first step in rehabilitating the public service had started with instructions to the personnel management secretary to meet all departmental heads to ensure staff discipline and attendance were improved within departments and reminding all managers that they would be held responsible for the performance of their staff.
“General tidiness of offices must improve and directions, regarding non-chewing of betelnut in offices, are to be strictly observed.”
Maladina said officers who failed to adhere to these directions would be charged under the Public Service (Management) Act.
“Departmental heads will be required to demonstrate that they are taking active steps to improve staff performance.”
He said it was not sufficient for departmental heads to report purported cases of corruption to police and sit back and await action.
He said there were existing administrative remedies under the Public Service (Management) Act to suspend and terminate contracts of officers involved in corruption.
“While departmental heads have the authority to suspend staff, there has been a reluctance to use these powers.”
He said department heads would now be required to advice the Department of Personnel Management of each and every case of suspected corruption to ensure appropriate disciplinary action was taken without delay.
“I am seeking support from the public to report instances of unacceptable staff absences, failure to provide service and/or demonstrate cases of corruption,” Maladina said.
“I expect district and provincial administrators to be on duty in their locations and I will not tolerate unexplained and consistent absences in Port Moresby.”
Maladina said the public might report instances of poor public service to the performance task force, Department of Personnel Management, PO Box 519, Waigani, NCD, in writing.
“Only written complaints which bear the name, address and signature of the complainant will be accepted and will be investigated and a reply sent by the task force,” Maladina said.