By Mary Karugaba
Competition and the narrowing space of employment opportunities have increasingly made the recruitment process in Public Service a challenge, making it hard to pick suitable office bearers in the allocated time, the secretary Public Service Commission has said.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee to answer queries in the Auditor General report for the year ending June 2012, Duncan Bigirwa cited the currently halted recruitment process at Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB).
He expressed concern that with the current fights among candidates who are appointed and those that fail is a big sign that in future, if not handled well, recruiting civil servants will be a hot issue, with increased litigation.
“In future, recruiting public officers is going to be a hot issue. First, people are all educated and have almost the same qualifications. When you appoint one, they immediately complain that the process was not free and affair, and immediately take the matter to the Inspector General of Government (IGG). Secondly, the employment opportunities have narrowed down that people have to fight for the few positions,” Bigirwa said.
The IGG last week halted the recruitment process of the executive secretary for UNEB after receiving complaints that the process was marred with a number of irregularities.
According to the IGG, individuals complained that the UNEB board chairman, Fagil Mandy flouted the process and appointed a candidate of his choice.
Bigirwa further said the policy of disclosing the amount of salary has also made matters worse.
During the meeting, the MPs tasked Bigirwa and his officials to explain why several individuals act beyond the required period and also still hold office when their contracts expire.
The committee chairman Paul Mwiru pointed out the case of the former permanent secretary in the ministry of Public Service, Jimmy Rwamafa, whose contract expired one year ago and has never been renewed.
According to Mwiru, the commission was notified on time but did not take action. “We partly blame you for the problems that occurred in Public Service. While Rwamafa was in office, he was there illegally.
His contract expired but you did not advise the President to appoint a substantive PS at the time. Most of the work was being done by the undersecretary,” Mwiru said. MP Eddie Kwizera accused the commission of appointing some individuals without due diligence.