The Sunday Mail
Government has completed preliminary work for a planned head count of civil servants through a biometric registration system that will be rolled out before year-end.
The biometric registration, which involves capturing the biometric features of all public service workers, seeks to weed out “ghost employees” and guarantee the integrity of the current database of Government workers.
Civil servants’ salaries gobble more than 70 percent of Government revenues.
It is believed that the data will eventually be collated through a system that interfaces with various line ministries for biometric authentication.
Public Service Commission (PSC) secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe told The Sunday Mail that establishing a biometric registration system is a process.
“Work has already commenced on the programme as promised by Government. It is a technical process and we believe our efforts to ensure significant work will be made in the second quarter of this year,” said Ambassador Wutawunashe.
“It might be earlier or later than October this year. Establishment of a biometric registration system is a process. The Public Service Commission has been sharing information with other parties on how it will be rolled out. This was part of broad measures that have been adopted by Government through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) to rationalise its wage bill by ensuring an auditable and verifiable head count.
“Integration of Government IT (information technology) systems is crucial to ensure that the different systems talk to each other seamlessly for verification and positive identification of members.”
PSC is also working on a job evaluation exercise that will allow it to align roles and add service-delivery values to these roles.
Human resources consultant Mr Memory Nguwi said there is need for Government to ensure high productivity through sweating its human resources.
“It is good that Government has realised that the current staff cost-to-income ratio is not sustainable as it leaves no room for Government to fund critical national projects and other important services.
“However, there are other measures that need to be taken by Government such as carrying out workload analysis of every Government employee for a full month.
“The results of the study are very likely to show that there are some people who are overworked while others are barely utilised. This will enable Government to align roles and focus on high-value adding roles,” he said.
Government, he said, will not just save money, but it will “get value for every dollar paid to staff”.
Rightsizing the civil service is part of Government’s broad economic reform policies — implemented through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) — that are meant to cut the wage bill.
Government audits in 2011 and 2015 indicated that they could have been ghost workers in the public service.