Survey of Civil Servants: Crucial Step in Corrective Measures [Archives:1998/33/Business & Economy]

August 17 1998

Ismail Al-Ghabry,
Yemen Times
The Republic of Yemen will begin a nationwide survey to collect data on the government’s civil service towards the end of August. The objective is to provide the government with basic data to enable it identify and analyze the nature of its work force and provide decision makers with vital information regarding their deployment.
The survey is one of a number of data-collecting processes, envisaged by the Ministry of Civil Service and Adminstrative Reform. It represents a new administrative approach to make decisions more compatible with realities. It is also a useful tool to measure the impact of decisions made on the future government employment patterns, and the required corrective measures.
In the past, the government acted on inaccurate, invalid and out-of-date statistics. This in often led to wrong decisions. Moreover, the effect of these decisions was not accurately measured due to the absence of feed-back.
Today, there are some one million people (both civilian and military) persons on government payroll. Estimates suggest that about a third of these names are ghost employees/soldiers.
The present survey covers only civilian employees, and at that, only those directly employed in the government bureaucracy. It does not include workers of the public/mixed sector companies.
Secondary-school graduates, who are now on summer holidays, have been trained to carry out the field work.
The total costs estimated will reach several million Riyals. Although it will be costly,the survey, the first of its kind in Yemen, will be a major step towards guiding the decision-making process through correct and relevant data.
In the future, periodic surveys will be necessary to update the information, and to give a picture of the degree of change and the direction of it. The Ministry is already looking into alternative ways for effective, continuous, and relatively inexpensive data-collecting methods.
The survey’s data will show the distribution pattern of government-employed human power, relative density in various ministries, sectors, and governorates, and will provide a reasonable picture of clustering and congestion of the work force. This is particularly important in order to determine how to ease bureaucratic quagmire and reduce paperwork. This is especially true in the southern and eastern governorates where the size of the civil service is 3 times that in the northern governorates.
The survey’s results, once computerized, will expose employees who have more than one salary and more than one job. It is estimated that 20% of the employees collect more than one salary, and that a solid 12% collect 3 salaries.
The survey will also give a picture of the qualifications of civil servants, pointing to under and/or over-supply of specializatios. This will help in re-orientating the general education and vocational training programs in order to be more compatible with labor market needs.
The survey will also show female employment in government, how many there are, what kind of jobs they hold, and what potential growth areas exist.
The survey’s results will be a tool to help re-distribute the work force, more evenly and more optimally as it will benefit the remote regions/units.
Finally, it is an important first step in the proper implementation of the administrative reforms.