WINDHOEK- Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has expressed concern over reported incidences of corrupt practices in the public sector, saying whether real or perceived, the practice continues to be ‘very worrisome’.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila expressed this concern while addressing executive directors and senior government officials in Windhoek yesterday.
She told executive directors the ethics committees as provided for under the anti-corruption strategy should be put in place and operationalised.
She also said the risk assessment reports from the corruption risk assessments should also receive priority attention from all government offices, ministries and agencies.
“Cases referred from the ACC for the attention of the respective offices, ministries and agencies should be accorded their due priority,” she stressed.
“As should the many disciplinary cases that drag on for too long, sometimes resulting in prescription of cases and leaving perpetrators of violations not held to account,” she added.
She also spoke strongly on cost cutting measures, saying the economy has been facing headwinds as a result of mainly external factors related to global economy and climatic conditions.
This situation, she said has exacerbated the skewedness in apportionment of resources between administration costs, mainly personnel related costs, and direct expenses for service delivery.
“It is thus incumbent on us, and executive directors have a key role to play in this regard, to reduce the wage bill which has reached unsustainable levels in order to free up resources to strengthen allocations to service delivery,” she said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says at national budget level, the wage bill related costs take up almost half of the budget, excluding government medical aid costs.
“This ratio is not much different at individual vote level,” she said.
Hence, she said the need to contain personnel related expenditure.
I wish to reiterate my directives to enforce cost saving measures, including but not limited to: Limiting overtime to extremely critical and unavoidable cases, managing of domestic and foreign trips by staff members, by allowing only trips where presence of local staff is an acute necessity,” she told the gathering.
Also, she said the filling of vacancies and creation of new posts to only areas where service delivery cannot be compromised, and on compensatory reduction basis.
“It is therefore incumbent upon accounting officers to submit vacancy plans or recruitments plans as requested to ensure that we are systematic in addressing the high public sector wage bill,” she said.
The prime minister says management of leave days is another aspect which needs government’s active involvement.
“Leave days are granted to a staff member to recognise his or her need to take rest following a period of service,” she said.
She said what she has observed now is that, leave days are left to accumulate, leading to hefty payments at the end of service which has become unaffordable.
“Executive directors, you must ensure that staff members take prescribed leave days within a given leave cycle and that proper records are kept to ensure accuracy of the databases,” she said.
2019-06-04 08:28:10 | 6 months ago