Editor's Comment

Deal with misfits

Government complex.

THE civil service is the heart beat of any Government.
It is the cornerstone for service delivery as it ensures Government policy is implemented.
The civil service serves the Government of the day. Therefore, discipline and hard work should be the hallmark of any public service in the world.
That is why the civil service is tasked and obliged to implement policies of the Government of the day. Civil servants operate in areas that impact people’s lives daily.
Civil servants are therefore expected to be loyal and diligent because they mirror the Government they are serving.
It is a pity, however, that some civil servants want to behave like they work for themselves while others harbour criminal motives by stealing.
This is despite the Civil Service Commission administering a code of conduct which provides guidance on ethical conduct. The code of conduct regulates the behaviour of public servants.
It is disheartening to learn that the Civil Service Commission has dismissed 39 officers for various offences, of which the Ministry of General Education tops the list at 18.
The public officers were dismissed in the second quarter of this year for alleged corruption, bribery, misappropriation of funds, fraud, absenteeism and late coming, of the total 1,044 cases which were processed.
About 22 civil servants were dismissed for corruption, theft, bribery, misappropriation of funds and fraud, which accounted for 56.4 percent.
The other 15 employees were dismissed for absenteeism and poor time management, which accounted for 38.5 percent.
At a time when Government has launched a vicious fight against corruption, it is worrying that there was an upward trend of cases of corruption, bribery and fraud from the first to the second quarter of 2019.
The dismissal of the 39 officers for various offences is a step in the right direction because indiscipline affects all areas of human endeavour as it compromises service delivery to citizens.
The Civil Service has sent a strong message to civil servants that indiscipline in any form will not be condoned as it compromises productivity and professionalism.
Indiscipline by civil servants has a danger to derail well-intended Government programmes. It also has the potential to make Government unpopular among citizens.
Due to misappropriation of cash, the austerity measures being undertaken will be defeated and thus delay economic recovery.
The Civil Service Commission has thus sent a strong message to service servants who may have access to the purse at any level, that they should avoid the temptation to be involved in fraudulent activities.
The Civil Service should be commended for meting out stiff punishment on the wayward civil servants. It is hoped that the punishment was meted out fairly on all those who were genuinely found wanting.
It is hoped that the punishment was not used as a witch hunt to hound out enemies – perceived or real. We believe that the due disciplinary process was followed and that all stakeholders, including the unions, are in agreement with each of the decisions.
To curtail fraud, audit systems should be enhanced.
It is also hoped that those who misappropriated taxpayers money have not just ended up at being dismissed but have also been reported to law enforcing agencies.
At a time when hundreds of people are roaming the streets looking for jobs, some civil servants decided to lose employment just like that.
Of all the jobs on the market, Government ranks highly.
Apart from job security in Government, civil servants enjoy wide ranging incentives which are not tenable in the private sector.
It is incumbent upon every public service worker, therefore, to not only ensure that they adhere to the regulations of the service, but to also cherish the opportunity to earn a living for themselves and their families.

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