Civil servants will have to wait until February to receive their January salaries following an announcement from the Accountant General’s office on Wednesday.
Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) has blamed the latest delay on government’s rush to implement expenditure control measures before it was ready.
The Accountant General has issued a circular to controlling officers warning them of the delay in January salaries due to late submission of vouchers known as GP5A.
But in his communication, the Accountant General has not stated the exact date civil servants would be paid; just stating a vague ‘sometime in February’.
The development has irked CSTU, blaming government for sending them on a three-week holiday as part of expenditure control measures without foreseeing the repercussions.
CSTU general secretary Madalitso Njolomole told The Nation yesterday that salaries are normally prepared by the 12 of each month, but due to the three-week leave, civil servants only returned to work on January 6 2014.
“As a result, not all ministries have submitted the GP5A forms [which are used in processing salaries] to the Accountant General. They have been asked to submit by Wednesday January 22 and information we have gathered is that all have submitted. But government systems move slowly and we fear salaries will delay,” he said.
The delay of salaries for civil servants started in November soon after resumption of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) which was shutdown to trace how billions of taxpayers’ money were looted and records deleted.
Since control measures were instituted, ministries have been inadequately funded, a development CSTU says has worsened the delay in preparing salaries.
“Our appeal is that government should follow the cash flow budget as approved by Parliament. Because of the funding cuts and inadequate ORT [Other Recurrent Transactions] budget for the past two to three months, some ministries are unable to buy the GP5A papers,” he said.
The Ministry of Finance has attributed the delay in salaries for the past three months to changes in the government financial system which made it imperative for ministries to submit GP5A forms before the release of funds.