The National Steering Committee On the Act Creating the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Liberia Revenue Authority, has assured aggrieved workers of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs that no employee would be thrown out “in the street” as a consequence of the reform.
In a joint meeting with the workforce on Wednesday, Minister Amara Konneh clarified the reform initiative and the steps being taken to address personnel grievances. “We will make sure that all employees are taken care of. There is a roadmap for it that makes sense,” assured Minister Konneh who along with Dr. Amos Sawyer, Chairman of the Governance Commission and George Werner, Director General of Civil Service Agency addressed employees of the Ministry.
According to a released signed by Sidiki Trawally, Director, Media Services, MoF Minister Konneh said the planned merger takes into consideration the plights of employees of the two Ministries and clarified that no employee would be unnecessarily redundant. Minister Konneh assured that the merger process is not intended to take people out of government and that government has put in place mechanisms to ensure employees receive their legitimate benefits in consonant with the civil servants laws of Liberia.
Minister Konneh disclosed the merger Committee is currently assessingthe skills and qualifications of employees for consideration in positions that commiserate with their status after the merger process is concluded. He called on the employees to remain calm.
For his part, the Director General of the Civil Servant Agency, George Werner disclosed his agency will ensure the rights of civil servants at the two ministries are protected under the law during the merger process which according to him would be implemented through four distinct phases.
He said phase one of the process will focus on retirees – employees who have served government for 25years and above or have reached the age of 65 and above as first step leading to the merger.Mr. Werner hinted that phase two will focus on encouraging employees transition from public to private service through a voluntary retirement scheme with attractive benefits attached.
He said phase three of the exercise will focus on contractors whose tenure he said are guaranteed till the end of their contracts. The CSA boss further noted that phase four of the merger process will focus on the redirection of employees to positions in other ministries and agencies where their skills are most needed.
Also addressing the employees, Dr. Amos Sawyer of the Governance Commission said the merger is part of government’s efforts to decentralize governance functions throughout the country to enable citizens to return to their respective counties with jobs.
According to him, the merger is also intended to eliminate duplication of functions in governmentto ensure a sizable and affective public service work force.