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Govt to send older civil servants to retirement: Bichiok

Author: Lasuba Memo | Published: March 12, 2024

President Salva Kiir holds meeting with Public Service Minister Dak Duop Bichiok. (Photo/Presidency)

The Minister of Public Service briefed President Salva Kiir on Monday about his plans to pay the pensions of older civil servants before sending them for retirement to make way for a younger workforce.

Dak Duop Bichiok said the Finance and Public Service ministries, in partnership with the World Bank, have begun the establishment of a biometric payroll system to trim out ghost names.

He said the civil servants, who have now gone for nearly seven months without salaries, will get their dues including allowances in the coming two months.

It is not clear how the government plans to pay the civil servants’ salaries after already admitting economic challenges resulting from impeded crude oil export.

According to Minister Bichiok, civil servants in grade 1, 2 and 3 will be promoted, while those in grades 4 and 5 will receive their pension before heading to retirement.

He added that pension fund is being made ready and those in grade four and five will be sent to retirement to pave way for recruitment of new graduates.

“We briefed the president that we want to sponsor officials, those who are in grade 1, grade 2 and grade 3. And those who are in grade 4 and 5, it is our responsibility to take them to retirement,” the minister said, speaking on SSBC.

“Now we agreed that we have a pension funds, they are ready to pay those going to retirement. This will inform us those who are in, so that we retire them to allow new recruitment.”

On January 18, 2024, the Chairperson for the Finance Committee in the National Parliament said the government was planning to retire about 1,500 civil servants at the age of 65 years.

Changkuoth Bichiock Reth stated that the decision was taken following a meeting with the Ministers of Presidential Affairs, Public Service, Finance and the General Manager of South Sudan Pension.

Bichock said the government organs have drafted a resolution to allocate about 15 billion South Sudanese pounds to retire the government workers.

The president’s meeting with the public service minister on Monday, follows the introduction of biometric payroll system to enhance effective data management.

The World Bank-funded biometric payment system uses a customer’s physical characteristics to authorize payment or complete a point-of-sale transaction, is said to be a huge step in the fight against corruption in the country.

According to the World Bank, the biometric payment system in South Sudan is critical for Public Financial Management reforms enshrined in the 2018 revitalized peace deal.

 

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