Civil service reforms await Cabinet nod

via Civil service reforms await Cabinet nod | The Herald November 12, 2015

Ministries have finished examining the civil service audit as Government draws closer to implementing a rationalisation that is expected to bring major reforms in the public service sector.

Implementation of the audit will see a reduction of the civil service wage bill with Government departments with replicated functions being merged, several workers being redeployed and the functions of all departments being streamlined.

This is in line with the Zim-Asset Public Administration, Governance and Performance Management sub-cluster which is guided by the Results Based Management System and focuses on budgeting and resourcing, public sector modernisation and civil service reform, fostering good governance and building capacities for public sector institutions.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira (pictured right) yesterday said in an interview that the input by various ministries would be tabled in Cabinet next week for adoption, with implementation of key reforms beginning thereafter.

“We gave them (ministries) the final audit report, in line with the Cabinet directive, for them to have a look at it and also have their input and this they have finished,” she said.

“We are going to discuss about their comments and recommendations in the next Cabinet sitting. The Ministries were studying the report and consulting with the departments under their purview and now each ministry has a global position with regards to the recommendations.

“It is all about rationalising the civil service with a view cut down the wage bill and do away with unnecessary expenditure. After Cabinet deliberates on the document, we will start implementing the recommendations in totality. People should also know that rationalising is not a one day event but a process meaning even after the first measures are taken, we will continue looking at various ways of reforming our civil service.”

It is understood that the Information, Media and Broadcasting Services; and Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministries have already collapsed unnecessary departments while The Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development has redeployed idle extension officers who were duplicating duties.

Auditors project that full implementation of the recommendations spelt out in the audit will see Government saving more than $400 million annually.

Government wants to streamline its labour costs as public sector salaries are gobbling 83 percent of revenue, inhibiting capacity to steer socio-economic development.

Chief labour cost drivers, according to the audit, are flagrant abuse of overtime allowances and leave days, salary fraud, idle manpower, role duplication and uncoordinated staff recruitment.

The Audit Report recommends centralised staff recruitment, merging some departments, streamlining roles and functions of remaining departments and cutting salary support to grant-aided institutions.

School Development Associations have been employing their own teachers unprocedurally, compelling Government to pay teachers who did not come through the authorised establishment.

The audit also suggests scrapping manpower development benefits, curtailing promotions and withholding salaries for the 3 000-plus absentee civil servants caught out by the audit.

Leave days will be monitored and anyone linked to salary fraud will be disciplined.

In the first half of 2015, Treasury spent US$1,54 billion on labour costs against revenue of US$1,718 billion.

Monthly, US$120 million is spent on salaries, with the least-paid taking home about US$380.

Government has 188 070 workers, excluding the uniformed forces and Health Services Board personnel.


  • comment-avatar
    C Frizell 7 years ago

    Well, its a good idea, but I am a sceptic and can’t see it happening. Organised Crime rewards their foot soldiers through the civil service “jobs for the boys”.

  • comment-avatar

    that should be an interesting cabinet meeting
    lets see if zanu pf have any grasp at all on reality.