Ex Chief Secretary Calls For New Law To Protect Civil Service
A former chief secretary has called for a review of salaries and perks as well as organisation and structure of the public services.PETALING JAYA: Former officers of the administrative and diplomatic service have urged the new government to legislate a Public Services Act to avoid political interference in appointments to the professional civil service.
The proposal was contained in an open letter to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim from the Administrative and Diplomatic Officers Alumni Association.
The association also called for a review of salaries and perks for those serving in the administration and in the public services, Bernama reported.
The remuneration and emolument packages should be commensurate with the relevant jobs, qualifications and performance while still being affordable to the government, said former chief secretary Abdul Halim Ali, who is president of the association.
Abdul Halim Ali.The association comprises former administrative and diplomatic officers, the most senior of those in the federal civil service. Halim, a former senior career diplomat, served as chief secretary to the government – the professional head of the civil service – from 1988 to 2001.
He said the new law would help create a professional civil service with a clear delineation of functions, power and authority between the administration and the civil service.
“It is of vital importance to avoid any political interference in public service appointments, as well as in administrative and financial management, especially in the award of contracts.
“Audit findings point to constant leakages and substantial losses incurred by the government due to non-adherence to financial standard operating procedures as a result of such interference,” he said.
Halim said all secretaries-general of ministries and heads of departments must be allowed to perform their functions and fulfil their responsibilities without fear or favour.
He said the association also wanted a comprehensive institutional and organisational review of the civil service to be undertaken by the new government in light of rapid technological changes, the digital revolution and global megatrends.
Halim said the new government and the civil service must work in tandem to reaffirm the practice of good governance through reviewing the General Orders, Financial General Orders and other relevant rules and regulations in the spirit of “Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah” – the slogan used by the Dr Mahathir Mohamad government of the 1980s and 1990s.
The association also recommended that every civil servant take an Oath of Service as proof of their commitment towards good governance and integrity and that both the administration and civil service be totally committed to fighting corruption, which was a serious concern among Malaysians.
On the economic recovery process, Halim suggested that the government and the civil service work together to solve problems such as the rising cost of living and the lack of jobs.
The new government must also be more serious about austerity measures and give priority to improving the public service delivery system. - FMT
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