By Taban Henry
The government of South Sudan has accumulated pension’s arrears of civil servants worth over 26 billion South Sudanese pounds for both the National and State governments workers for period starting 2006-to-2021.
This was revealed during the presentation of the Report of the standing Specialized Committee on Finance and Planning on the Fiscal Year 2022/2023 national budget in its second reading stage.
Earlier last month the Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly Rt. Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba committed the fiscal year draft budget to the committee on Finance and Planning in the Assembly for their scrutiny after it was first tabled to the August House by the minister of Finance in August.
The chairperson for Specialized Committee for Finance and Planning, Changkuoth Bichiock Reth said that there has been an accumulated pension of SSP 26,591,723,290 South Sudanese pounds for civil servants working in both the National and State levels from for the period 2006-2021, he described as unpaid.
He said there has been no retirement in the public sector to allow recruitment of new fresh blood energetic workers in the public sector system saying the pensions programs in the country is not attractive and civil servants are aging.
“There is no regular promotions and recruitment, in the public sector, this is related to no retirement policy and effective pensions program. Senior officers in security sector are not put into retirement, but in the reserves list which makes duplication on payroll system, which makes huge money goes to ghost names and no proper pension system to the army and other organized forces,” he said.
Reth added that many ghost names exist in public services especially at the national, states and administrative areas because there is no biometric system to control the payment of wages and salaries.
He underlined that government institutions do not advertise existing positions in the normal way except the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation citing that as the reason which reflect to the low performances in most of the government institutions.
“The Ministry doesn’t have database and recruitment system for new graduates, post graduates from universities which curtail most of the qualified South Sudanese to serve in public sector and improve standard of service delivery” Reth stated.
The chairperson of parliamentary committee or Finance stated that a centralized training has not been budgeted for in the FY 2022/2023 budget, however it is observed that it is one of the most important components for public sector reform program.
He cited that the problem of the delay of wages and salaries of public service and security sector and lack of its improvement is because the salaries and remuneration commission (SRC) is established but its laws is not budgeted for in the FY budget.
“There is no close collaboration between the ministry and other related commissions such as civil service commission, employees’ justice chamber and public grievances chamber,” Reth lamented.
South Sudan launched its National Pension Fund in 2019 for civil servants’ retirement package.
Pension is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee’s employment years, and from which payments are drawn to support the person’s retirement from work in the form of periodic payments.