04 October 2007

Civil service: Knock the apathy out of them


HAVE some simpleMY suggestions for improving the working of the civil service:

• Have fixed times for employees to go to the canteen, say 10.30am to 11am for coffee/tea breaks, 1pm to 2pm for lunch and 3pm to 3.30pm for tea break.

Close the canteen in the office blocks should be closed at all other times. The Staff should be strictly prohibited from going to the nearby warong or coffee-shop during office hours.

•The office telephone should be operated by an operator. The current norm of “press one for Bahasa Malaysia, two for English, etc” is not customer-friendly at all. You end up waiting without anyone picking up the call in spite of the long ringing tone. The phone rings for a long time ages without any one picking up and in the end the line goes dead. It is really frustrating, not to speak of the money wasted.

• Schedule all departmental meetings for Friday afternoons. From my observation, not much work is done on Friday afternoons.
If an appointment is fixed, for a certain day and time, the officer-in-charge should be present. to attend to the person going to meet the officer. There should be Accept no excuses like the officer is “busy/having a meeting with the boss”, “gone out on some urgent personal business”, etc.

• A tabulated record of “medical leave”, “emergency leave”, “annual leave” and “absent without leave” etc, taken by each member of theall staff, including the head of department, should be displayed prominently.

• Anyone member of the staff going out of the office on official duty or field work should be required to must enter the time of leaving and expected time of return in a logbook.

kept at the counter.

• The award of titles, medals etc. for serving officers should be given only during the last year of service. This way we can avoid the embarrassment of a `Tan Sri’ or `Datuk’ being charged for criminal offences or being declared bankrupt, or committed to imprisonment.

• Promotions should be based on factors such as performance, dedication, responsibility, work attitude, diligence and not on seniority or other considerations.

• The disciplinary procedures involving government servants is cumbersome and archaic. Something like the one established in the private sector — warning letters, show-cause letters, holding a domestic inquiry followed by punishments such as suspension without pay, downgrading, stoppage of annual increment, denial of he annual bonus, if any, and ultimately dismissal, if found guilty would certainly be very effective. Transferring a problem staff from one department to another or from one station to another is not disciplinary action. It is really a form of vindictive action.

No comments: