Vacancies in gov’t posts clarified

National 2 minutes, 58 seconds


THERE are currently 290 vacant civil servant positions in Division One, with 83 posts in the Superscale C salary scale and above.

The procedure and criteria put in place means these positions will not be filled at one time because only qualified officers that met the service scheme criteria will be considered for the position, said Minister of Finance II, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim yesterday.

The minister said this in response to YB Hj Mohd Shafiee Ahmad, Mukim Liang-Lumut I Legislative Council representative, who asked for clarification on the delay in filling vacant senior officer positions, among other issues related to the civil service.

The Public Service Department issued guidelines on succession planning and competency models to assist government ministries and departments in their short and long-term plans, YB Pehin Dato Hj Abd Rahman explained.

Vacancies in the public service were made available every time there were promotions, retirements, and the creation of additional positions. To ensure that the department’s administration and operations were not affected, some vacant positions were allowed to be filled temporarily by officers within that department, he said.

The officers may not necessarily be eligible for the appointment because there are other criteria that need to be fulfilled such as peer competition and length of service, he added.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Abd Rahman gave an example where an officer “acting” in a Division One position was allowed by the Public Service Commission to hold that position for six months.

The time enabled the officer’s superiors to evaluate and ensure that the officer was indeed qualified and competent to take up the position and the responsibilities entrusted, YB Pehin Dato Hj Abd Rahman said.

Support for the officer to be place permanently in that position is subject to the recommendation of the department head through the permanent secretary.

The permanent secretary will submit a letter of support for the officer to be confirmed in the position to the Public Service Department as early as three months of occupying that post, or at the latest of two weeks before the “acting” period expired.

However, the head of department may suspend support if it was believed that the said officer needed more time to achieve the level of competency required.

The officer would also be required by the committee for Division One and Two promotions and senior officers exchanges to provide two working papers.

The officers will not be considered for the position until the working papers were reviewed and approved by a review panel. Failure to submit the working papers will delay and affect the process, the minister explained.

Speaking on capacity-building in the civil service, YB Pehin Dato Hj Abdul Rahman said 341 officers have gone through the Executive Development Programme for Senior Government Officers (EDPSGO) since 1996 up until 2013.

A total of 261 EDPSGO participants now hold positions such as deputy head, head of departments and above.

The EDPSGO programme offered various modules of studies such as Transformational Leadership, Strategic Management, Human Resource Management, Civil Service Models, Negotiation Skills and Cross-Culture Social Etiquette, Knowledge Management, Project Management and E-Government.

The minister said another 313 graduated from the Executive Development Programme for Middle Management Officers (EDPMMO) since 2003 to 2013.

The EDPMMO was a development programme that provided current knowledge on approaches and best practices in public and corporate sectors. In addition to that, the programme is aimed at improving their leadership qualities, understanding of the managerial environment and organisation, as well as to address the issues of the public sector.

The Brunei Times