What is coming out of Capital Hill is somehow unbelievable—about the entire half of the civil service staff has not been paid their December salaries?
Of course, this is not the first time civil servants have not received their pay in time; notably, teachers and some junior staff in many other ministries.
And so many reasons have all along been proffered, and these include technical hitches with the payroll—as is now the case at the Ministry of Health; faulty computer systems or disrupted power supply.
Whatever the reasons, the excuses have never held water, given that a salary is something any department/employer knows has to be paid at a given date, whatever happens; hence, the need for adequate preparedness and, for contingency’s sake, setting up of Plan Bs in case things do not work as expected.
That is why there are so many supervisors, officers and senior managers in government departments of finance and administration as well as human resources to ensure that critical functions and services always work. Which is why we have always put a question mark on the level and quality of activities in the ministries, especially the quality of supervision.
For Christmas, we also all know that pay comes early to ensure that employees access their money in good time for them and their families to adequately prepare for the festivity.
Yet, in the current case, it seems the transactions were either an after-thought or reflect gross inefficiency.
In either case, somebody or some officers must fully account for what happened and be duly disciplined.
This development, to quote the Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU), is unfair. But, we add, it is unprofessional and shameful.
Salaries are a statutory obligation that must be paid on time, all the time.