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Govt upgrades human resources, payroll systems

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THE government is in the process of modernising its human resources management and payroll systems, as part of plans to clean up its bloated workforce and improve accountability in line ministries.

Own correspondent

As part the Staff-Monitored Programme, recently approved by the International Monitory Fund (IMF), the Public Service Commission (PSC) is supposed to have submitted by end of June this year to the Finance ministry, a time-bound action plan on measures to modernise the human resources and payroll systems aimed at improving accountability in the government.

In letter of intent by Finance minister Tendai Biti to IMF, the PSC will also replace the current manual public sector database with an electronic Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) this year.

The HRMIS is expected to provide secure electronic retrieval, archiving, and sharing of data with the human resource databases of line ministries and as such improve transparency and accountability.
“With support from the 2013 Budget, there will be HRMIS pilots starting in the PSC head office and rolling out to several line ministries and departments over the year,” he said.

Eventually, the HRMIS will be integrated with the human databases of all line ministries and departments and is expected to strengthen payroll management and prevent irregularities in the same system.

A public Service Training and Development Policy to guide the professional development of human resource personnel in the public service is also on the pipeline.

The government said it will maintain the hiring freeze which it implemented in July 2012, although allowing some limited flexibility in filling vacancies that open up as a result of natural attrition in the education and health sectors and for critical position in line with this year’s Budget.

This is part of the plans to reduce the civil service wage bill, as it had become unsustainable and one of the highest in the region.

Presently, workers’ salaries gobble nearly $2,6 billion, which translates to 70% of the government’s total revenue collections.

The government is this year working on a cash Budget, which includes an increased appropriation for the payment of utility services, with the objective of preventing the accumulation of domestic payment arrears.

This also includes measures to rationalise consumption of electricity, water and telephone services by government ministries and departments.

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