By Kebba Jeffang
Gambian President Adama Barrow, expressed disappointment about the low salary scale of public sector workers, as he met with the Public Service Commission, on Tuesday.
He said the salary scale in the public sector, when compared to the private sector, is extremely low. He said despite inheriting a difficult situation, his government’s priority is to stabilize the system and cut costs.
“We have discovered that while the former government was borrowing from the private banks to pay salaries, a lot of money went into private pockets and not public sector workers,” he said.
President Barrow said with the involvement of the Public Service Commission (PSC), there will an independent Civil Service. He pointed out that “without the technocrats, the politicians will not succeed in the administration.
President Barrow indicated that they fought for change of government to promote democracy, fair play and to establish a transparent and accountable system in the Civil Service.
Gabriel O. Bright, Chairman of the Public Service Commission said their visit to the president, was to brief him about the Commissions’ activities. The PSC chairman said, issues of appointments, promotions, training and disciplinary measures in the Civil Service, are key priorities for his Commission.
The Permanent Secretary, Personnel Management Office (PMO), Mr. Pateh Jah, said the development agenda of the new government includes institutional reforms. He said to conduct the reforms, they need to embark on a nationwide staff audit exercise to inform the process on the way forward with the reforms.
Mr. Jah shared that the staff audit exercise has been done, and they are now analysing the findings to allow the relevant authorities execute the necessary actions. He added that with regard to the preliminary findings, some of the issues discovered, are ghost workers whose salaries are still floating.
According to Mr. Jah, the system requires to be strengthened. He noted that the general observations indicate, that some staff do not have the requisite resources to do the job and to respond to the call to improve service delivery.
The Permanent Secretary concluded that: “You cannot deliver when you don’t have people who have the necessary skills and expertise to do the job. These are part of the challenges that they would be able to uncover during the exercises”.
It is expected that the meeting will enhance the coordination of the activities of the Public Service Commission, in executing its mandate.