This will be done through the enforcement of the Special General Order 11 of 2019 (SGO11) which is a binding lawful instruction determined by the National Executive Council.
DPM Secretary Taies Sansan issued a circular instruction advising all heads of national departments, government agencies and provincial administrations to take heed of the measures to be enforced to ensure SGO11 is implemented accordingly.
Ms Sansan said, SGO11 clearly states that each agency head must deduct from an officer who fails to attend work and fails to provide an acceptable reason for periods of unauthorized absence.
The circular instruction outlined that under the SGO11, public servants are required to be present at their workplace or place of business during normal working hours from 7.45am to 12.00 and 13.00 to 16.06 Monday to Friday each week.
Absence during these hours is covered by General Order No.14 which authorizes absence and where appropriate, paid leave.
It further states that all public servants are required to complete a full day’s work of 7 hours 21 minutes in duration in order to be paid.
And any unauthorized period of absence shall result in pro-rata salary deduction.
Attendance records and time keeping performance by individual agencies will be audited by the department and an annual report made by the Minister for Public Service to the National Executive Council.
Secretary Sansan said, “We are now taking these measures to enforce the SGO11 as it has been one of the biggest causes of lack of client attention and poor service delivery by the public service machinery.”
“Keeping records of absenteeism and time keeping are major setbacks that have hindered the enforcement of the SGO11 and we are now taking measures to ensure public servants abide by them,” she stressed.
The circular has outlined that the following rules will be enforced; absence from the workplace other than that provided under General Order No. 14 is unauthorized absence; absence for personal reasons is not covered under General Order 14 and includes; missed, unavailable or late transport; domestic, marital or family problems; baby-sitting problems and uncertified sickness.
To ensure all agencies comply with these provisions all government agencies are to put in place a manual sign in/sign out register that they should maintain.
The enforcement rules will also include salary deductions to be processed in respect of any absence; agencies are requested to use a form that will be used by respective HR delegates and a copy returned to DPM.
Secretary Sansan also issued a reminder for supervisors to take the necessary steps to warn subordinates for initial unauthorized absence and take corrective action which should result in disciplinary procedures being undertaken to deal with staff under General Order 15 which can either lead to demotion or termination.
DPM will be providing compliance reports through payroll monitoring and audit reports for the Public Service Minister to inform NEC on which agencies are complying with the circular directive.