KAMPALA – The Minister of Public Service Wilson Muruli Mukasa has revealed that the Public sector wage has grown from UGX 2.883 trillion in FY 2015/2016 to UGX. 5.013 trillion in FY 2019/2020.
Presenting the sector’s manifesto performance, Mukasa said government has increased the wage bill by UGX. 2.13 trillion in four years representing a 42.49% growth of the wage bill.
“The current wage bill accounts for twenty seven point eight five percent (27.85%) of the local revenue of FY 2019/2020 compared to Kenyas wage to local revenue of fifty four percent (54%),” he said.
In fulfillment of remunaration of the public service including among others teachers, researchers, health workers, scientists, Mukasa revealed that government has since the approval of the pay policy principles and long term pay targets for all public servants enhanced pay for a number of civil servant categories under phases 1, 2 and 3.
“Pay enhancement in the Public Service since FY 2015/2016 has been achieved as below: The overall wage bill of Government has over the years increased from UGX. 4.244Trillion in FY 2018/19 to in FY 2019/2020. This has further increased to UGX. 5.095 trillion in FY 2020/2021,” he said.
The minister said by FY 2020/2021, public universities will be enhanced on average by 75% of the long term pay targets.
“Justices and Judges as well as central appointing commissions have been enhanced at 100% of the long term pay targets. Directorate of Public Prosecution staff, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Health Specialists have been enhanced at over 70% of the long term pay targets. Scientists and Pilots have as well been enhanced above 60% of the long term pay targets, ” he said.
He added that under the budget for FY 2020/2021, more funds have been provided to enhance Associate Professors, Professors, the Vice Chancellors and Deputy Vice Chancellor as well as researchers under NARO to 100% of the long term pay targets. “Other Teaching staff and Scientists in Public Universities have as well been enhanced.”
The minister said government will continue providing resources to implement the approved long term pay targets for all Public Servants in a phased manner.
According to Mukasa, the Ministry implemented the Hard to Reach (HtR) policy which was approved by cabinet and introduced 30% hardship allowance for health, education and agriculture extension services in designated 16 Local Governments.
“This has significantly increased the staffing levels in those districts to over 85% by 2021 in addition to addressing issues of retention, absenteeism and staff motivation. The Ministry has undertaken a review and recommended enrolment of 22 new districts and 89 Sub-Counties as hard to reach spots. This is expected to be implemented under the 3rd National Development Plan (NDP III),” said Mukasa.
Government has set up service Uganda Centres in Kampala, Jinja, Kasese, Entebbe and Mbale.
“Cabinet has directed setting up of Service Uganda Centres eighteen Regional Zonal Centres. Service Uganda Centres will allow the Public access real time services without having to spend money in travels but also address the current problem of red tape bureaucracies and the cost of doing business as well as promote the concept of one Government. All services of Government such as revenue, tax application, business registration, admission to schools, land registration and others shall be undertaken at these centres,” he noted.
Under restructuring of Public Service Institutions to improve efficiency, effectiveness and eliminate duplication Mukasa reported that government approved the policy on Rationalization of Government Departments, Agencies and Boards.
“An implementation modality has been developed and under the third National Development Plan (NDP III), Government will implement the policy directives. This is expected to result in operational efficiency, cost reduction, elimination of duplication and wastage of resources as well as removal of mandate overlaps,” he said.
The minister further revealed that government continues to strengthen its human resources through the provision of budgets for recruitment.
“The staffing levels in Government as at March 2020 stood at 319,396 out of an establishment of 527,003 thus representing a 65% staffing levels within the recommended minimum staffing levels in accordance with manifesto period,” said the minister.
He added that the staffing levels are expected to rise 68% in FY 2020/2021 with additional funding. Provision for recruitment of teaching staff in Public Universities, Primary and Post Primary Teachers as well as Health Workers under the UfIFT programme.
“Staffing levels under the third National Development Plan (NDP III) shall be further increased to an average of 80% with prioritization to the Health, Education and Production sector in addition to Scientist positions being filled to 100%.”
Commenting on the introduction of the National Identity Card to help in the fight against crime, tax evasion and corruption by eliminating ghosts on the pay roll.l, Mukasa said biometric validation and census of all public Servants and pensioners has been undertaken, an interface between NIRA and the payroll system was established.
“Ghost records have been deleted from the payroll and forwarded to the Inspectorate of Government. Seven Thousand, eight hundred seventy four (7,874) pensioners worth UGX. 2.652Bn per month were for example deleted from September, 2019 payroll, ” he said.
On Governments resolve to issue performance-based contracts for senior public servants and pegging performance of sectors and ministries to agreed priorities and positions, Mukasa revealed that the Ministry is implementing performance agreements for all heads of department, Heads of Schools and Government Departments.
“It has piloted Balanced Score Card in a number of Ministries which will eventually be rolled out to all Ministries, Departments and Local Governments under NDP III. Performance Management has also been strengthened by initiating a request to institute annual auditing of compliance to Performance appraisal by Office of the Auditor General,”
The government approved the establishment of a Salaries and Remuneration Board said the Minister adding that, “This is in line with the policy on rationalization of Agencies, Commissions and Authorities. Implementation has commenced with amendment of existing laws to give effect to the policy directives.”
He further noted that government is in the process of introducing a Contributory Public Service Pension Scheme to replace the current unfunded and noncontributory Scheme.
“This reform will address Governance, accountability, sustainability and equity problems associated with the current unfunded PSPS. This will also increase the saving to GDP ratio, reduce the cost of borrowing and deepen the financial sector and create a vibrant social security sector, ” he promised.
According to Mukasa, the Fund is further expected to grow the financial sector and inject over UGX2 trillion into the economy within 5 years through Civil Servants contributions alone.
“The Bill is currently under considered by Cabinet and shall be enacted into law before FY 2021/2022 when the fund is expected to be established.”