Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Public Service News from around the world

Unkind cut for trainee doctor

PARIS (January 5): A French public hospital’s decision to reject an Egyptian trainee doctor because of his beard has been upheld in court.

The court ruled that the hospital, like other State institutions, must remain secular under France law, and the beard could be seen as indicating a specific religious practice.

The doctor, known only as Mohamed A, was sent from Menoufia University in northern Egypt for a one-year training course at Saint-Denis Hospital in September 2013.

In October, hospital managers told him to trim his beard “so that it could not be seen by staff and users of the public service as an obvious sign of a religious affiliation”. After he failed to comply, his training course was terminated in February 2014.


Audit spotlight on PS corruption

NICOSIA (January 9): Cyprus’ Auditor General says the impunity once enjoyed by the country’s Public Servants was on the wane due to the work of prosecution authorities and changes in the mindset of the public.

Odysseas Michaelides said that Public Service corruption and mismanagement was no longer tolerated.

Congratulating Mr Michaelides, President Nicos Anastasiades said it was necessary to severely crack down on misconduct.

Citing data from European surveys on the cost of corruption to the taxpayer, Mr Michaelides said that audits and controls in general could only benefit the economy.


Chad rethink on PS pay cut

N'DJAMENA (January 9): The Government of Chad has suspended a plan to reduce the salaries of its Public Servants.

Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke said the plan, which had aimed to ease the strains on a Budget badly hit by a nearly four-year slump in oil revenues and a rise in borrowing, had been opposed by trade unions.

Public Service salaries in 2017 totalled $US720 million ($A903.6 million), roughly the equivalent of the combined revenue from income tax and customs duties, according to official figures.

Chad is under pressure to cut costs to meet performance targets under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid program. The country is one of the poorest in the world.


Pakistan changes promotion rules

ISLAMABAD (December 2): The Pakistan Government has directed that the criteria for promotion in the Public Service be changed, giving more weight to the completion of training courses and less to the recommendations of superiors.

The Establishment Division within the Ministry for Public Service said the changes were necessary because of inflated performance evaluation reports that the bureaucrats were getting from their superiors despite poor performances.

However, critics said the increased weight on training came while there was still no standardisation of training courses in Pakistan.

They pointed out that the civilian-run National School of Public Policy and the military-run National Defence University (NDU) had different training modules and evaluation criteria, with the NDU criteria regarded as more stringent and robust.


Concern over Brexit inexperience

LONDON (January 4): Only one in five Public Servants working on the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) can remember a time when the UK was not in the bloc.

An analysis of Government personnel data reveals that the average age of staff at the Department for Exiting the European Union is 31, with 83 per cent of officials under 40.

The figures from the Institute for Government show that the Department, which was set up after the EU referendum and now employs nearly 600 Public Servants, has relied heavily on young graduates to fill its posts.

Insiders say that the dependence on younger employees has worsened the Department’s high staff turnover, creating internal confusion.


Another PS death in Nigerian State

LOKOJA (January 5): A senior Public Servant in the Nigerian State of Kogi has died of a heart attack just three days after being told he was sacked.

Alphonsus Ameh had been Director Administration and Finance at the Kogi State Pension Board.

A niece of the deceased said Mr Ameh (61) was among a group of Directors and Permanent Secretaries who were suspended in February 2016. He had not received any salary since then.

Last year two Kogi Public Servants committed suicide after not receiving their salaries for extended periods.


Police protest over officer’s jailing

HONG KONG (January 7): The union representing junior officers in the Hong Kong Police has warned of a “morale crisis” in its ranks following the recent jailing of now retired Superintendent Frankly Chu for hitting a bystander with a baton during a protest.

Chair of the 20,000-strong Junior Police Offers Association, Joe Chan Cho-kwong, said the incident “lays bare the huge changes that have been imparted on Hong Kong society amid the political disputes of recent years”.

“It highlights the inadequate protection of police officers on duty and how certain requirements of police officers on use of force have become outdated,” Mr Chan said.

Hundreds of police sympathisers took to the streets to show “support for police enforcement”. They demanded an independent commission be set up to monitor how judges handed out jail sentences.


No money for Uganda PS pay rise

KAMPALA (January 2): Uganda’s Public Servants have been told there will be no pay rise for them this year and that they will have to tighten their belts further.

The Treasury has rejected a proposal from the Ministry of Public Service for phased pay increases over four years, saying there was no money available for the measure.

Instead it recommended a freeze on all new recruitment except when replacements were absolutely necessary and an indefinite halt to a plan for 13 new Districts and 200 Town Councils — measures already approved by Parliament.

"Relatedly, the policy of one secondary school per sub-County and a technical school per constituency will be reconsidered. In addition, Government should stop grant aiding of private schools and hospitals,” the Treasury said.


 Recruitment drive comes up short

LUXEMBOURG CITY (January 6): Of the 2,459 vacancies in the Luxembourg Public Service over the past four years, only 1,989 have been able to be filled, Minister for the Public Service, Dan Kersch has announced.

Most vacancies occurred in the areas of education, tax administration and police, despite an intensive recruiting drive, the Minister said.

“One of the criteria for entering the Civil Service is good knowledge of the three working languages, French German and Luxembourgish, which has been a problem,” Mr Kersch said.

He again floated the idea of allowing more foreign residents to enter the Public Service, something which has been a sensitive issue in the past.


Phone jammers to counter exam cheats

MUMBAI (January 5): Mobile phone jammers are to be used in centres where candidates are taking the examination for the Indian State of Maharashtra’s Public Service.

The State’s Public Service Commission said the move was necessary to prevent cheating.

Deputy Secretary of the Commission, Sunil Awatade said the jammers would prevent the use of cell-phones and related electronic devices.

Public Service candidate and a member of the group demanding reforms in the examination system, Mahesh Bade said jammers should be used in all Government recruitment exams in order to make sure that genuine candidates did not suffer.


Crackdown on PS extravagance

HARARE (January 3): Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s promised crackdown on the Public Service extravagances of his predecessor has begun with the dismissal of more than 3,000 youth officers and 500 unqualified officials.

The Treasury has also begun turning down vehicle purchase requests from senior officials and trimming their fuel and mobile phone airtime allocations.

Landline telephone use is being closely monitored across all Government Departments while fiscally-supported foreign travel has been curtailed, with recruitment for non-critical posts frozen.

The Civil Service Commission is also calculating packages for all its 65-year-old and older employees and will retire them by the end of the month.


PS development model adopted

ASTANA (January 5): The Kazakhstan’s Agency for Civil Service Affairs and Anti-Corruption has announced that neighbouring Uzbekistan will adopt the Kazakh model for developing its Public Service.

The decision follows a meeting between high-level officials of both countries during which methods for promoting efficiencies, including one-stop-shop service centres and e-government systems, were discussed.

Director of Kazakhstan’s State Services Department, Adilbek Mukashev said his country’s achievements in this sphere were presented to the Uzbek side.

Kazakh representatives briefed their counterparts on the Digital Kazakhstan State Program that was designed to reduce corruption and inefficiencies, ensure transparency in Governmental bodies and better protect the rights and freedoms of citizens.


Up your commitment, officers told

ABUJA (January 5): Nigeria’s Federal Public Servants have been urged to show more commitment and dedication towards performing their duties in 2018.

Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita made the call in Abuja while addressing Public Servants in her office after the return from the New Year holiday.

“However, I must also congratulate you Civil Servants that stood with this administration through thick and thin even in the face of the fuel crisis that ended before the New Year,” Mrs Oyo-Ita said.

She commended President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping his promise of paying salaries and promotion arrears despite the challenges faced by the country in the previous year.


State’s public education ‘in crisis’

KARACHI (January 8): The Chief Minister of the Pakistani Province of Sindh has declared a “public education emergency” in the face of falling standards.

Murad Ali Shah said the problems in the Department of Education were serious and complicated.

He announced a 10-year education reform program “to overhaul the entire system”.

Proposed reforms would include improvement of textbooks, proper and professional training of teachers, more efficient and transparent mechanism of teachers’ recruitment, performance-based promotions, increments and incentives for the best teachers, and improvements to the classroom environment.


‘No confidence’ in Department head

EDINBURGH (January 8): A Scottish Government Department is reported to be suffering a crisis in morale that is undermining the ability of solicitors to challenge Ministers over their policies.

An internal Public Service survey covering lawyers in the Directorate for Legal Services found only 47 per cent of staff had confidence in the long-serving Director, Murray Sinclair.

This was significantly lower than the average confidence rating (57 per cent) for Directors in the Civil Service People Survey, which was carried out last October.

The survey’s findings were catastrophic among staff covering children, education, health and social care. Of the 17 solicitors in this area, only one said they had confidence in the decisions made by Mr Sinclair, who has been at the helm for 11 years.

The full Public Service News international news service resumes on January 23 at psnews.com.au/aps/world

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Public Service News from around the world

Door-to-door service rejected

NEW DELHI (29 December): A row has broken out between the Government of the Indian National Capital Territory of Delhi and its Deputy Governor over a plan to deliver 40 public services, including driving licences and water connection permits, to citizens’ doorsteps.

Deputy Governor Anil Baijal sent back the proposal for reconsideration, saying it would only further clog New Delhi’s already crowded streets and that with increasing digitisation it was unnecessary.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia described the Mr Baijal’s actions as a “huge setback for graft-free governance” and said the Deputy Governor should not be interfering with the will of an elected Government.

However, Mr Baijal said he had not rejected the legislation, simply urging an alternative model.


Prisons-pensions link challenged

ALBANY (December 27): Legislation that would require the New York Public Service pension fund to divest from companies with ties to privately run prisons, has been tabled in the State Senate.

Its sponsor, Brian Benjamin said there was no reason a progressive American State like New York should be benefiting from mass incarceration.

“Passing this Bill would not only be the right thing to do morally, it would benefit society economically,” Senator Benjamin said.

However, Director of the Empire Centre, a State fiscal watchdog, Edward McMahon opposed the Bill describing it as “a recipe for endless meddling that would actually undermine the integrity of the pension investments”.


Private sector ‘needs redundant officers’ Bottom of Form

PRAGUE (December 29): The Czech President has called for a “major streamlining” of the country’s Public Service in his end of year message to the nation.

President Milos Zeman said the move would strengthen the national Budget as well as benefitting the private sector which could take up the redundant talent.

"Fifteen years ago, we had 80,000 Civil Servants, now we have 150,000 of them," Mr Zeman said.

He said the private sector would gladly accept redundant Public Servant, solving a growing shortage of manpower.


Absentees result of holiday binge

DUTSE (December 29): Many Federal Public Servants working in the northern Nigerian State of Jigawa have been unable to return to work after the Christmas holidays because they had spent all their money on the festivities, observers said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that activities at the Federal Secretariat in the State capital of Dutse were low, with only a handful of workers present.

Some Public Servants, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said workers had returned to their homes in various parts of the country over Christmas and now could not afford the fares to return.

“Most of them will need to borrow in order to come back to work. It has always been like this. I assure you that activities at the Secretariat will pick up from next week,” one officer said.


No holiday let-up in Turkey’s PS purge

ANKARA (December 25): A new wave of purges has hit the Turkish Public Service with the Government Gazette reporting that 637 military personnel, 360 gendarmerie force members and 150 academics or other university personnel had been dismissed.

At the same time at least 115 people who were previously dismissed were reinstated to public sector jobs.

The Government also closed down two local newspapers, 14 associations and one health clinic.

A state of emergency has been in force since the failed July 2016 coup. In that time more than 110,000 Public Servants have been sacked for alleged links to the plotters.


PS Board members stood down

MIGORI CITY (December 27): All six Commissioners of a Kenyan Country Public Service Board have been put on three months forced leave after allegations of corruption surfaced.

Migori County Governor Okoth Obado said he had sent the commissioners on leave to pave the way for investigations following claims of corruption and unethical practices during recruitment of staff.

The board, chaired by Peterlis Nyatuga, has been in office since 2013.  It has  responsibility for recruiting County Government staff.

However, sources who sought anonymity doubted the charges could be proved, claiming at least some of the complaints were politically motivated.


Public TV channel to rival Netflix

COPENHAGEN (January 1): The Danish Government has proposed a new 24-hour public television channel which aims to be a rival to the internet streaming site, Netflix.

‘Danflix’, which can also be accessed via an app, will feature only Danish-produced content and will be funded through television licences.

Government spokesperson Britt Bager said calling the new channel Danflix obviously came from Netflix, but highlighted the Government’s view that Danish content should be accessible in one place in future.

The proposal comes as part of negotiations for a new media deal to take effect on January 1, 2019.


Card fees ended for public payments 

TAIPEI (December 30): Taiwanese citizens who use their credit cards to pay Government fees or public hospital bills will no longer have to pay transaction fees.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said the announcement, from eight State-owned banks and five private banks, was expected to benefit up to 19.61 million card holders.

Currently, some hospitals charge transaction fees when payment is made with a credit card, while others do not.

Transaction-free credit card payments for medical bills will not include plastic surgery, postnatal care or health examinations.


New crackdown on PS offenders

MANILA (December 31): Philippines Public Servants have been informed of a whole new series of offences that will result in dismissal and perpetual disqualification from Government service.

Among the violations are refusal to accept an application and/or a request within a prescribed period; failure to act on an application and/or request; failure to attend to clients who were within the office or Agency prior to the end of official working hours, and failure to render frontline services within the prescribed period on any application and/or request without due cause.

In a statement outlining the offences and their penalties, the Civil Service Commission said they “ensure consistency, predictability and stability — values which are integral in upholding the rule of law”.

“It also affords Government workers fair treatment and protects them from being victimised by political biases, persecution and personal whims,” the statement said.


Zimbabwe union alleges spying on PS

HARARE (January 1): A Zimbabwe teachers union has accused the Government of wanting to spy on the Public Service with the announcement that the Civil Service Commission will be placed under the Office of President and Cabinet.

In a statement, The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said the move undermined the principles of good public administration as set out in the constitution.

"It is our submission that the process is designed to capture and militarise the Public Service as part of a broad and calculated move to control public sector workers,” the statement said.

It said that through the move the Government was effectively seeking ways to directly spy on public sector unions and thus undermining collective bargaining principles.


Deadline for PS asset declaration

NEW DELHI (December 29): The Indian Government has given all its Public Servants until January 31 to declare their assets or risk losing access to promotions, foreign tours and postings.

The Department of Personnel and Training said the move was is aimed at curbing corruption among tainted Public Servants, a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Corruption-Free Country initiative.

The initiative is expected to have most effect on the more than 5,000 members of the elite Indian Administrative Service whose officers are posted across the country.

This includes the Cabinet Secretary, who reports directly to the Prime Minister as India's highest ranking Public Servant.


“Psychological implication’ of PS decisions

LAGOS (December 28): Public Servants working for the Lagos State Government in Nigeria have been urged to be more meticulous in the discharge of their duties “considering the emotional and psychological implication which their actions and inactions are capable of.”

State Head of Service, Folasade Adesoye said officers should be aware of the effect they could have on the advancement of Lagos residents.

“We must be aware of the confidentiality required in the discharge of our duties and responsibilities, given the nature of our mandate,” Mrs Adesoye said.

“I wish to re-emphasise the importance of team work and the value of timeliness. By sharing knowledge, ideas and experience, we not only enhance the quality of work, we enrich the Public Service process and procedures.”


PS pension bill soars 

NAIROBI (December 28):  With an estimated 20,000 Kenyan Public Servants projected to retire every year, the Government’s pension bill has surged to Sh100 billion ($A1.24 billion).  
According to the Treasury, the burden of taking care of aged former Public Servants will result in this figure doubling in the next three years. Just 15 years ago, the bill was just Sh15 billion ($A19 million).

Pension managers have over time raised the red flag on the feasibility of the unfunded pension scheme for Public Servants, saying a funded scheme where workers contributed towards their retirement during their working life would be more sustainable.

Since independence, Public Servants have enjoyed a defined benefit scheme that is fully paid for by taxpayers through the Consolidated Fund.


Drug test failures rejected for PS

THIMPHU (December 28): Two candidates for the Bhutan Public Service who failed a drug test after passing the entry examination will have their applications cancelled, the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) has ruled.

The two candidates have the right to appeal to the RCSC, which will verify if they were under any kind of prescribed medication.

“Otherwise, the candidates will be disqualified for employment in the particular year and theirs places will be offered to the next candidates in line,” an RCSC official said.

The official said the test was conducted to support the national effort to deter drug use and maintain a drug-free Public Service.  


Unfit not fit for promotion

KUALA LUMPUR (December 28): Malaysian Public Servants are objecting to new rules which would make their physical condition a benchmark for opportunities to be promoted.

President of the Congress of the Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Service (Cuepacs) Datuk Azih Muda said the Ministry of Health should not interfere with promotion and performance evaluation.

“Any performance evaluation or factors determining promotions should not be based on someone's health. We don't know when we are going to fall ill, it's unpredictable,” Datuk Azih said.

“We have proposed Civil Servants be given two hours a week to exercise. The Government should also organise monthly get-togethers where we can all do physical work outs. Being healthy is a shared responsibility.”

The full Public Service News international news service resumes on January 23 at psnews.com.au/aps/world

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Public Service News from around the world

UK officers act out their passions

LONDON (December 24): United Kingdom Public Servants are being sent for acting lessons costing up to £650 ($A1,125) a day at the country’s leading drama school.

Whitehall Departments have engaged the services of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to help Public Servants perfect their presenting skills.

Officials are given voice exercises and taught how to relax their lips and mouth, such as by making “horse noises” and blowing kisses. Those who suffer from stage fright are given useful hints on how to combat butterflies by tensing and relaxing muscles in their abdomen and buttocks.

The day-long courses teach individuals how to become a “more powerful and confident presenter at work” and “how to make a strong entrance and opening” that will “leave your audience with your message resonating in their minds”.


Retirement age rise to go ahead

ATHENS (December 18): Phased increases in the retirement age for Greece's Public Servants, introduced in 2015 after being made a condition by international lenders, are constitutional, the country’s highest court has ruled.

The Council of State ruled against an appeal lodged by the country's biggest umbrella union for civil sector workers, ADEDY, challenging the legality of the measure.

Judges ruled that changes to retirement ages were in line with the Greek Constitution when they were intended to help ensure the survival of the social security system, as was the case with the 2015 reforms.

“The gradual increase of retirement ages is aimed first and foremost at rationalising the pension system by preventing early retirements before the legal pensionable age,” the judges stated.


Ultra-Orthodox get PS quotas

JERUSALEM (December 21):  The Israeli Government has announced it will reserve seven per cent of Public Service places for ultra-Orthodox Jews (Haredim).

The quota will be phased in over three years to create more employment opportunities for the growing number of Haredim with academic degrees who are entering the workforce.
Haredim in the prime working ages of 20 to 64 account for about nine per cent of the population in that age cohort, but only seven per cent of the labour force because of their low workforce participation rate.

Only around 11,000 Haredim, 3.5 per cent of total enrolment, are studying in degree programs. Many spend their entire lives in religious studies.

Presidential appointments ‘damaging’

DACCA (18 December): A major anti-corruption body has called upon the Bangladeshi Government to revise provisions in the Civil Service Act which it says are “damaging to the environment” of public sector workers.

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) singled out the right given to the President to appoint 10 per cent of employees in the highest four levels in the Public Service.

“If the scope of satisfactory promotion is not enforced without specific criteria, then the democracy, efficiency and experience of the public administration will be depreciated and professional development will be hampered,” TIB said in a statement.

It also criticised the provision giving the right to dismiss employees without any reason after they had completed 25 years of service.


‘Nonsensical’ decisions a PS norm

BELFAST (December 22): A Northern Ireland Government economist has admitted to a public inquiry that Public Servants regularly make decisions which would seem nonsensical to the man in the street.

Shane Murphy told the probe into the failed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme that Public Servants believed there was a much bigger picture and even though the rules might seem absurd to them, they trusted there was a grand plan which they could not see.

He made the comments as he was pressed to explain why the decision had been made to set up an RHI scheme in preference to a much cheaper grant-based alternative.


Tens of thousands to lose jobs

NAIROBI (December 18): President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that thousands of Public Servants will lose their jobs in a massive retrenchment beginning in February.

Nearly 39,000 employees will be retrenched, according to a staff audit report originally published two years ago.

Kenya has about 700,000 employees in the public sector, including 199,921 Public Servants in the National and County Governments.

Firing was deferred until after the recent General Election to avoid a voters' backlash against Mr Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, but now the Government has decided to bite the bullet and cut the soaring public sector wage bill.


Phoenix pay backlog drags on

OTTAWA (December 18): Latest figures show the trouble plagued Phoenix pay system is not coping well with the changing demands of the Canadian Public Service with a backlog of 54,000 cases relating to revised collective agreements still to be processed.

The report also reveals that about half of the Government’s 300,000 employees are experiencing a pay issue of one kind or another.

Minister for Public Services and Procurement, Carla Qualtrough put the blame on the implementation of 20 of the 27 core Federal Public Service collective agreements since September, with the consequent needs for pay adjustments.

Noting that the backlog would start to decline in the New Year, Ms Qualtrough said it was “historic” that the Government had been able to negotiate 20 collective agreements in less than two years out of the 27 that had expired.


Youth rebels on TV licences

BERNE (December 21): The editor of Switzerland’s German-language public service television network has been asked to explain why the country’s young people should be forced to pay licence fees for “television and radio that serves an old and aging public”.

Tristan Brenn faced a grilling from an audience of communication students with the principal question being the 450 Swiss Franc ($A588) mandatory licensing fee per household per year.

It will be Mr Brenn’s job for the next three months to persuade not just students but all of the Swiss electorate of the value of public service broadcasting.

On March 4, voters will be asked to weigh in on a referendum to abolish the annual license fee that covers about three-quarters of the public broadcaster’s budget — a move supporters of the operation say would put it out of business.


President to probe PS loans

HARARE (December 21): Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to look into deductions from Public Servants’ salaries by loan sharks.

This was in response to the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) that had sought his intervention on the deductions.

More than 30,000 Public Servants have reportedly had money deducted from their salaries by loan sharks to service loans they say they never took out.

Some of the affected workers claim they have been left with just a few cents in their pay packets after the loans were deducted.


Training grants scheme rorted

SINGAPORE (December 21): Five alleged members of a Singapore criminal syndicate have been charged with scamming a Government training grants scheme.

It was claimed in court that that the group had defrauded SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), of $S40 million ($A38.5 million) through making bogus claims.

The court was told that the group submitted forged documents to obtain subsidies and that the suspects reportedly belonged to “an organised network that utilised nine business entities, comprising employer companies and training providers, to submit the fraudulent claims”.

Commenting on the case, a former presidential candidate, Tan Kin Lian, said it showed “the deplorable state of our Civil Service and the political leadership”.


All is not equal in Brexit body

LONDON (December 20): The United Kingdom Department for Exiting the European Union has the second widest gender pay gap in the Public Service at 15.26 per cent, new figures show. Only the Department of Transport is higher, with women earning 16.9 per cent on average less than male colleagues.

The figures show that women are paid less than men across the Public Service, with a gap of 10 per cent in seven other Departments.

The lowest disparity is three per cent in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The head of the Public Service, Sir Jeremy Heyward said the data was a "matter for concern".


 Terrorist victim tops PS test

SRINAGAR (December 19): A man whose home was burned by terrorists 18 years ago, forcing his family to flee their village, wants to return there as a Public Servant.

Anjum Bashir Khan (27) has topped the Public Service examination for the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. He says education is the best way to change the destiny of youth and he will work for it in his ancestral area of Surankote.

"There is no point of making it to this service if I'm not able to go there and help people. Becoming an officer is one thing, but what's important is that you should help your society. The society from where you have come," Mr Khan said.
More than 12,000 candidates appeared for the State Public Service examination and only 51 passed.


Workers must prove they are genuine

YAOUNDE (December 19): A total of 2,817 Cameroon Public Servants whose pay has been stopped have until January 18 to come forward and prove they are genuine, the Minister for Public Service says.

Michel Ange Angouing said so far 14,134 Public Servants were presumed to be fictitious. People on the current list had been sent numerous formal notices.

“If they do not respond they will be purely and simply deregistered from the list of Civil Servants, in accordance with the legislation in force," Mr Angouing said.

He said the Government was determined to “mitigate the phenomena of fictitious Civil Servants or of Civil Servants who had left their posts, but were still receiving pay and entitlements.


Need for ‘better face’ in pay deal

KINGSTON (December 21): Jamaica’s Leader of the Opposition is urging the Government to think again over its hard-line attitude to Public Service pay negotiations.

Peter Phillips said there was a need for the Government to show a “different and a better face to the workers of Jamaica”.

His comments follow those of the Shadow Minister for the Public Service, Lambert Brown, who described the Government's offer of six per cent as a “gimmick”, saying that Minister for Finance, Audley Shaw was “taking the workers for fools”.

Dr Phillips, who was Minister for Finance in the last Government, said he was fully aware of the need to keep the wage bill under control, but at the same time recommended that the Government should be seeking to improve whatever benefits it could for the workers.


Auditor General lays down the law

ACCRA (December 23): Ghana’s Auditor General has warned Departments he will not tolerate attempts by senior Public Servants to impede his work.

Daniel Domelevo insists officials cannot determine when they want to release information or dictate to him when they are ready to be audited.

Quoting the 1992 Constitution and the Audit Service Act, Mr Domelevo said he had the mandate to audit public institutions when he saw fit, adding, it was “criminal” for any official to deny his office any document.

"Some misbehaviours continue for a very long time and people think it is normal and it becomes law...people have done it with impunity over the past and gotten away with it. I will cite any official who flouts the Audit Act,” Mr Domelevo said.

The full Public Service News international news service resumes on January 23 at psnews.com.au/aps/world