Government continues to plough ahead with the biometric registration of civil servants and is confident of achieving significant milestones during the third quarter of this year since the process requires ‘painstaking thoroughness in its implementation', the Public Service Commission (PSC) has said.
The biometric registration, which involves capturing biometric features of all public service workers, is expected to weed out ghost workers and guarantee the integrity of the current database of Government workers.
Secretary to the Service Commissions, Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe told The Sunday Mail that there is need for diligence in coming up with a new database.
"Work on the biometric registration programme is proceeding in earnest, and we are confident of meeting our timelines.
‘‘All going according to plan, the third quarter of 2019 should see us attain significant milestones," said Ambassador Wutawunashe.
"While impatience, both on the part of fellow citizens and on our own part, is understandable, given the clear benefits of the programme, the desired outcome requires painstaking thoroughness in its implementation.
"For that reason, our technical committee is going through the existing register with a veritable tooth comb to ensure that the new register will not be confounded by underlying errors that can be eliminated at this stage," he said.
The PSC is presently leveraging on support from the World Bank and experiences from other African countries.
During his recent State visit to Zimbabwe, Tanzanian President Dr John Magufuli shared his country's success story in implementing the biometric registration exercise, through which 34 000 ghost workers were flushed out of the system.
Ambassador Wutawunashe said a sanitised and credible human capital database will enable Government to keep track of its human resources.
"The most obvious benefit will be the assurance of an accurate register of serving public servants. This is critical for the elimination of any ghost workers who might be latent in the existing register, a risk against which the wage bill must be protected.
"Going forward, it is also important to keep track of Government's human capital, particularly in view of the new emphasis on a fit-for-purpose deployment, a robust programme of talent development and management, and the promotion of access to a wide range of benefits tailor-made for public servants and their families."
It is believed that civil servants' salaries chew at least 70 percent of Government revenue.
Right sizing the civil service is part of Government's broad economic reform policies — implemented through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) — and is meant to cut the wage bill.
Previous audits conducted in 2011 and 2015 indicated that there could be ghost workers in the public service.