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Government cadre review and shuffle on the cards

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By Chathuri Dissanayake

With plans of reassigning government servants according to present requirements, the Cabinet yesterday gave its approval to conduct a major review of cadres employed at all public institutions to determine the optimum cadre level for each institution and forecast cadre requirements for 2020. 

The move comes after concerns were raised on the speed of delivery of services by officials in the public service. 

Highlighting that despite recent expansions in the public sector to the ratio of one public servant for every 15 citizens, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake in his proposal said that there was slow progress in achieving the expected results within the relevant financial year.

In his proposal to the Cabinet, he highlighted that “although a decrease in the cadre requirement was expected due to the introduction of new methods and procedures of modern technology, an increasing trend has been shown in requesting new cadre positions.”

According to the Cabinet paper there is a “dearth of public servants” in rural and remote areas due to unsystematic deployment among public institutions leading to delays and shortages of delivery of services. The paper highlights cadre shortages in the fields of education, health and technology as well as with officers who represent all-island services in remote and rural areas. 

“Employees like Development Officers recruited in large numbers based on the policy decision taken from time to time have been attached to various workstations without a proper work assessment,” the Cabinet paper revealed.  

In contrast, the Minister noted that there was a surplus in urban areas where there were more than the required numbers of officers, including primary level employees compared to tertiary and senior level officers.

The Government plans to carry out a total cadre review for which the circular has already been issued. All public institutions have been instructed to submit review reports by the end of March to the Management Services Director General. Following an overall review, the Government plans to reassign staff from institutions with excess cadres to duty stations needing more officials. 

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