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Employment plan not fully implemented: IARCSC report

Employment plan not fully implemented: IARCSC report

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Oct 03, 2017 - 20:42

KABUL (Pajhwok): Of every three posts created under the Employment Strategy over the last six months, one has been filled. One of every five appointees is a woman, with youth grapping most of the positions amid growing complaints.

A report from the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Services Commission (IARCSC) shows nearly half of the appointees have studied to the bachelor level. Of every six people employed, one is illiterate.

It says the number of male complainants is five times higher than females. Of every three individuals, two have been promoted to higher grades during the first six months of the current fiscal year after proper evaluation.

One-third of the development budget has been spent in the first six months of the ongoing year.

Dr. Roohullah Amin, IARCSC complaint commission head, presented the six-month report on IARCSC performance in Kabul.

In line with the report, the IARCSC should have recruited 8,558 people to vacant positions at 37 ministries and independent institutions. But the commission managed to hire 3,160 people in the first six months.

As many as 1,888 positions in 37 government institutions had been left vacant in 2017 due to terminations, retirements, resignations or deaths and there was an urgent need for filling these vacancies.

 “There is a possibility of some employees at ministries and civil services being terminated against the law. Any kind of explanation in this regard would help remove doubts in public minds regarding the ministries and other institutions in removing people illegally."

Lack of coordination between IARCSC and different government institutions, failure to evolve a proper strategy, delay in approval of posts and lack of clarity about the number of CBR posts are the main reasons behind the inability to fully enforce the employment strategy, according to the report.

 

It added, the ministries of counternarcotic, women affairs, water and  energy, rural rehabilitation and development, mining and petroleum, agriculture, civil aviation and authority, the Attorney General Office and the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) lag behind in implementing the plan.

The gender issue is yet to be addressed and a balance between males and females has not been struck in the employment strategy. A huge disparity exists in the number of women and men hired, especially at the provincial level.

 

Vocational capacity, lack of security, particularly in provinces, cultural restraints and local traditions are viewed as key obstacles to women's employment.

Professionalism and upgrades to civil services are important findings of the report.

According to the report, during the period, 84 percent of those appointed were aged between 19 and 40 years and the remaining 16 percent between 41 and 65, showing the entry of young talent energizing different institutions.

The report highlights the importance of having experienced employees in the institutions but at the same time stresses the need for the induction of young talent.

The report hails the induction of young and professional individuals with higher education as a huge achievement. At the same time, the appointments strengthen civil services.

 

According to the statistics, many illiterate people have been hired to the posts which should have gone to educated candidates.

The induction of young talent with modern education and having familiarity with contemporary tools left a positive impact and played a basic role in bringing fundamental changes in line with drastic reforms.

Most of the educated individuals were hired at the centre.

 “Security issues, inadequate rights and privileges for educated individuals in the provinces and comfort gaps between capital and provinces are the main reasons for the young talent quitting the provinces in search of job in the central capital,” the report says.

In the employment process, an analysis of complaints and other administrative anomalies is seen as a vital indicators of implementing reforms, protecting people's rights and transparency. Findings of the observations show 604 people have registered complaints against 37 ministries in six months.

 

 

 

According to the report, the bulk of complaints were lodged against the recruitment process and some against the results of performance assessment, transfers, services and terminations.

The findings show 54 percent of the complaints were from provinces and most of them about third and fourth grade job positions.

 

 “The increasing complaints indicate the awareness of candidates about their rights, but it also represents serious problems in the employment and administration processes,” the source said.

 “Both the issues should be separately looked into. Problems in the recruitment process directly impact the number of complaints, investigation into complaints and hurt the trust of educated cadres,” the report said.

The study shows of 50,000 posts that needed to be assessed in 1396 fiscal year so far 15,000 of them have been assessed in the first six months of the year.

 

Employees promoted to higher posts, employees who completed five steps of promotion, individuals appeared in the examination process, individual introduced to education, individuals posts announced

The statistics show of the assessed posts, 10,365 officers have been promoted, seven preannounced, 52 officers were introduced to higher educational institutes, 760 passed probationary periods and 4,166 others completing five steps remained on their positions without promotion. It shows 13 percent of officers were promoted to next grades.

 “But the quality of performance assessment shows the system has only a symbolic significance and lacks the content for the job and that is why most of the times officers keep low relation between job description and performance,” the report says.

 “The assessment forms are superficially filled, a process that takes almost a year, this form only counts daily performance of an officer and does not assess the outcome of performance. There are no practical results for punishment and award. An officer can get promoted if he completes five steps. So it is requested the process be seriously reviewed,” the report added.

The report said civil servants were being trained by the Civil Services Institute, relevant organs and countries offering scholarships to the officers.

The commission says ensuring fair distribution of scholarships and quality education always challenged implementation of reforms.

Statistics show the number of trained officers has increased in recent years.

 “Unfortunately the results of training programs and improvement process in services and performance are not studied, something that can pave the way for reforms in educational curriculums, organizing foreign trips and making decisions on high expenses,” the report said.

The report also provides information about budget spending and shows budget, particularly development budget, has not been spent fully.

 

 

Statistics from 37 ministries and independent departments compiled by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) show that 35.3 billion afghanis has been allocated as general budget and more than 99 billion afghanis as development budget for the current fiscal year.

The report links less spending of development budget to late approval of the accounts by Parliament. Late allocation of budget by MoF, lack of security in a number of provinces, prolonged procurement process and lack of spending capacity in some departments are other reasons behind under-spending.

                                                                                        Suggestions

The report suggests that relevant organs should fill the reform forms and problems in information system of human resources should be resolved and efforts at ensuring transparency in employment process be made.

The report seeks special attention to women’s employment and a review and reform of the performance assessment mechanism.

Efforts should be made to prevent employment losses and ensure job protection, properly supervise the employment process and provide education facilities to all organs.

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