Due to Corruption in Civil Service, 65,000 Layoffs in Government Institutions [Archives:2001/46/Local News]

November 12 2001

The Minister of Civil Service disclosed last Wednesday in a press conference that a great deal of corruption and misconduct on the government payrolls. He said that there are over 30,000 phantom names of employees, over 17,000 having dual files and that around 17,000 employees that have retired between now and the year 2000.
He confessed that the government payrolls before 1998 were not at all state payrolls. They were full of mistakes, and each authority has its own payroll. He said it was a good place for rampant corruption, adding, “The government used to spend billions of riyals without knowing or asking where all this money was going.”
The minister revealed some problems relating to the working staff. He said the total number of employees registered on the government payrolls is 446,760. Only 60,000 (14%) of them are hold their Bachelor’s or Ph.D., while 86 % have only undergraduate certificates, and 100,000 are not at all qualified.
Most of the employees, about 75%, are working in the main cities, while only one-quarter are working in the countryside, the center of the majority of population, around 86%. Another problem is that around 293,000 (66%) employees are working for Education, 36,000 for Health, 22,000 for Construction. Other institutions get only 34% of employees. Another pitfall is that most of these employees are working in administration, while the number of specialists is very few. For instance, there are 100,000 people working in administration, while the only minister confessed that there are not only dual institutions but their output is the same. This has left heavy burdens on the government budget; around 85% of the budget of establishments is spent on salaries, producing a very high bill of salaries, consuming 75% of total expenditures. However, its value is very low. It went down during the period from 1996-1999 to 15%.
He said the administrative reform packages carried out before 1995 completely failed due to their shortcomings. He pointed out that his Ministry is now implementing a program to modernize the civil service and that the World Bank has allocated around $90 million as a loan to fulfill this important project. Yemen is to repay the loan in installments until the year 2050. He added that the reform package of this sector is beyond Yemen’s capacity, both technically and financially, and that Yemen needs international support to carry out this program. He stressed that they are doing their best to cleanse the government payrolls of all these mistakes, and that all authorities will be restricted. The number of employees should equal the number of the available posts. The remaining will be qualified again and employed in the sectors that need them.
It should be said that the salaries of the phantom employees go to influential tribal shiekhs and officials at the power center. Correction here would the first step to curbing the corruption that is consuming everything.
Mohammed Hatem Al-Qadhi
Yemen Times