EDITORIAL: Judiciary should deliver justice to acting workers
Friday, August 21, 2020 1:53
It is no other arm of the government but the Judiciary that the Auditor-General has found to be flouting its human resource policies by allowing top officials to act endlessly in roles while drawing allowances.
According to the auditor, up to 10 senior Judiciary officers have been acting this way, some doing so for 74 months while the code allows a maximum 18 months.
Several things are wrong with this state of affairs.
While acting in particular positions should run for 12 months and extended for only six months, the Judiciary has been presiding over a system rot, which apart from the extra pay that the officials draw, the workers themselves would not get the much-needed honour that goes with substantive roles. As a matter of fact, anybody who can act for this long is qualified to be confirmed through the office’s recruitment procedures.
It is more painful when Judiciary — the custodians of justice — is the same department bending the rules. It is the Judiciary that dispenses justice to all and sundry, including workers who may find themselves in similar or worse situations that are against the law, the rules, and policies.
Where is justice when a worker can act for more than six years?
The Judiciary ought to realise that justice goes beyond court appearances and requires doing things the right way. The Judiciary should be the first institution to ensure that procedures and codes are followed to the letter. Anything else is unacceptable.
Further, based on public knowledge, acting positions in government, be it in parastatals or the Civil Service is so overgrown that it is annoying, but it seems no one is yet to find the trend untoward. Workers should only be made to act when the employer is doing everything possible to recruit the replacement, but not to behave as though those positions were untenable.
We urge the Judiciary to urgently start and complete the hiring for these positions that the Auditor-General has cited — it is embarrassing for the custodian of justice.
We also urge the entire public service to start treating jobs and roles more seriously and honour their workers with substantive positions if they qualify but not use temporary positions to frustrate anyone. Illegal acting in positions is stealing from the taxpayer and is humiliating to employees.
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