Government policy to stamp out laziness and absenteeism [Archives:2007/1094/Local News]

October 15 2007

Ismail Al-Ghabri
SANA'A, Oct. 8 )A new government policy is underway to stamp out laziness and absenteeism at ministries and public service units. The Civil Service Minister, Hamoud Khalid As-Sufi, confirmed to The Yemen Times that they have launched an initiative “to correct negative things hindering job performances of the state's administrative system”.

The policy came to light with reports that legal action is being taken against the leaders of the Ministries of Youth, Education and Information for not doing their jobs properly. The Minister agreed that he was behind this decision: “I surveyed for three days some of those services units including these three ministries along with their leaders. They will be referred to the prosecution”.

“Experience taught me that some employees do not abide by rules and regulations,” said As-Sufi. “Consequently I paid these three ministries a personal visit so as not to be in any doubt about what was happening. My purpose was to obtain a real portrait of the current situation.”

“It is a pity to find that all the reports we had received were right. During my field visit I also found some institutions completely closed during working hours. This is a fact that should not be dealt with in friendly way, especially when I personally observed it. I have to give an honest picture of what I found so that it can be a driving force for colleagues to review or look back at their job performance.”

And, Al-Sufi asserted, the new policy is successful. “When we intensified our inspections, the situation improved and everything is now going on the right track,”

The new policy will continue beyond Ramadan, said the Minister. “Field visits must to continue to monitor job performances of all the official state institutions as well as to attempt to tackle the 'infringements and imbalances' for the sake of public interest,” he added.

It seems there has been some misunderstandings in the way the prosecutions have been reported by some news organisations. The Minister said that the directives that have been issued apply to senior officials and not to ministers. He said his inspections provided the ministers with the opportunity to improve the performance of their staff.

“They should hold an instant meeting,” advised As-Sufi, “to discuss this issue seriously since it has reached such a state of unbelievable indifference. It is also a good chance to take decisions against those who manipulate and do not abide by the rules and regulations regarding their job performance.”

The Deputy Minister of Information, Ahmed N. Al-Hamati, told The Yemen Times, “all state media institutions are working 24 hours even in holidays and official leaves. They are not connected to the official working hours and what has been reported in this respect is a misunderstanding.”