Home LOCAL NEWS Civil service biometric system goes live

Civil service biometric system goes live

Civil service biometric system goes live

THE Public Service Commission (PSC) has begun undertaking periodical audits of public sector staff compliments through a high-tech biometric authentication system that is anticipated to help weed out ghost workers off the payroll.

The new system, which is linked to the Registrar General’s office, enables auditors to verify whether a worker is alive and employed by the Government.

Audits will be undertaken prior to every pay-run in order to ensure that non-existent or dead workers do not receive salaries.

All but 100 public sector workers had been registered on the biometric system by November 30.

A staff audit undertaken by the Government in 2015 concluded that scores of workers who had either left their jobs or died had continued to receive their salaries owing to bureaucratic errors or corruption.

PSC secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe told The Sunday Mail that technical glitches and the Covid-19 induced restrictions had delayed deployment of the system.

“The payment system interfaces with the Registrar General’s office as well as the employee’s respective Ministry to verify and authenticate one’s personal information,” said Amb Wutawunashe.

“We have been working with the RG’s office and the Ministries to confirm employees’ identification numbers, finger prints and personal information.

“The system will be used every month or periodically before a pay-run to weed out those who would have died, resigned or left service so that they are removed from the payroll.

“When we ran the system with the RG’s office, there were some technical glitches but we have rectified the issues.”

The exercise is part of interventions introduced by the Government in partnership with the World Bank — through the Transitional Stabilisation Program (TSP) 2018-2020 — which seek to rationalise the civil service wage bill by ensuring an auditable and verifiable head-count.

The government is prioritizing reforms to the civil service as a way of curbing spending.

Through the reform measures, the Government has reined in its wage bill from around 90 percent of total revenues in 2017 to about 50 percent this year.

The registration exercise has been ongoing since 2018.

At the end of 2018, 158 994 employees were under the PSC, with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education accounting for 123 000 workers.

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