Akin Akande, Abuja
The Federal government on Tuesday announced that it has carried out a review of the criteria involved in the appointment of federal permanent secretaries into all the federal ministries.
Head of the Service of the Federation, Bukar Goni-Aji who disclosed this said this would take full effect from the next dispensation.
He, however, explained that before now, the system was such that the Head of Service reserved the right to award additional 10 percent to the most senior director in the promotion examination conducted which automatically qualifies such candidate for appointment as the Head of Service of the Federation but noted that such policy has been abrogated.
The Head of Service said these at an interactive forum, which held at the Public Service Institute in Abuja, as part of activities marking the 2013 Civil Service Week, noting that the old system was vulnerable to abuse.
He, however, lauded the immediate past Head of Service, Ibrahim Sali for reviewing the procedure.
Goni-Aji said the new process allows the president to make informed choices in the appointment of permanent secretaries.
“The appointment of permanent secretaries is now based strictly on merit. All Directors are eligible to become permanent secretaries. Before now, the examination took 90 per cent of the marks while the Head of Service was free to do justice to the remaining 10 per cent”, said Goni-Aji.
He also explained that it was possible for a Head of Service to allocate the 10 marks to the second or third best candidate in an examination and thereby placing such candidate ahead of the other who came first in the examination.
According to him, the Civil Service Week is an opportunity to take stock and highlight the contributions of the public service in national development.
“As we are all aware there is a general impression that the Civil Service of today has lost its values and integrity and has deteriorated in terms of morale, discipline and productivity.
“This is the time we must look inward and know that a Civil Service that is not proactive in embracing change cannot be a change agent”, said Goni-Aji.
According to him, the Service has developed strategies with which to reward excellence and punish indolence.
His words: “The implementation of the new Performance Management System, which allows opportunity for rewarding excellence and punishment for indolence, is receiving full attention.
We are at the moment collaborating with the Federal Civil Service Commission and the National Planning Commission to achieve a smooth transition to this system.
“We are strengthening the anti-corruption and transparency unit in MDAs so that it can engage more in enlightenment activities. We are also partnering with the anti-corruption agencies to achieve similar purpose.”