Govt trimming civil service

At least $39 million has been availed by Government as severance packages for civil servants as the State moves to trim its workforce and reduce staff costs.

About $12 million will go towards retiring employees aged 65 and above.

A total $17 million will pay about 3 188 youth officers dismissed last year while $8,7 million is set to be availed to civil servants retired for not possessing requisite qualifications.

Government is in the process of implementing measures to reduce its wage bill which will also entail downsizing diplomatic missions in other countries.

At least $120 million is estimated to be going towards Government salaries each month.

The Sunday Mail understands that Government has offered voluntary retirement packages for its employees in various departments.

Secretary for Finance and Economic Planning Mr Willard Manungo said Government ministries have been notified of the staff rationalisation measures.

“To operationalise the above measures, Treasury has already issued an administrative circular which provides guidelines to accounting officers and heads of institutional commissions,” he said.

“With regards to the wage bill reduction measures, Treasury has since advised the Civil Service Commission to proceed to implement specific expenditure management measures with regards to the adoption of lean administrative structures, introduction of a voluntary retirement scheme and maintaining the freeze on filling non-critical posts.

“In particular, Treasury recently availed US$39 157 000 to fund the retirement of Government officials.

“His Excellency, the President, approved the downsizing of our diplomatic missions, taking into account our current economic environment and affordability principles.

“Pursuant to the above commitments, an Inter-Ministerial Committee, led by the Ministers of Finance and Economic Development and Foreign Affairs and International Trade, has since been constituted with the remit of proposing specific measures and attendant financial savings for the consideration and approval of Cabinet.

“The committee also comprises senior officials from various Government Ministries and agencies such as the Office of the President and Cabinet, Foreign Affairs, Civil Service Commission and Treasury.”

In his 2018 Budget Statement, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa indicated that Government was going to introduce stern measures to reduce the wage bill.

According to a 2015 Civil Service Audit, Government had 188 070 employees, excluding uniformed forces and personnel under the Health Services Board.

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