From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, has warned permanent secretaries and chief executive officers in the ministries, departments and agencies that they will be held liable henceforth on mishandling of disciplinary cases against workers.
She gave the warning in a memo dated December 6th and titled “Need To Prevent Avoidable Litigations Arising From Poor Handling Of Disciplinary Cases In MDAs” with reference no: HCSF 3065/Vol.1/125.
In the memo in which the Chief of Staff to the President, the ministers, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), permanent secretaries and all the heads of the government agencies, were copied, Yemi-Esan, frowned at the poor handling of disciplinary matters which has led to avoidable court cases, consequential financial implications and embarrassment to government.
The memo read thus: “It has been observed with great concern that there is an increase in court cases arising from dismissal and termination of appointment of staff without proper administrative procedures by some MDAs.
“This has led to avoidable litigation leading to court judgements against government with huge consequential financial burden.
“In most cases, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) is joined as defendant in the litigations instituted by the aggrieved staff or their unions. The consequential appearance by the legal officers deplete the limited resources of the Office,” the Head of Service said.
The memo said that in the light of the above development, all MDAs are advised to follow due process in handling staff matters, especially disciplinary cases.
She said, “As you are aware, there are useful extant rules, regulations and guidelines that guide disciplinary processes. Specifically, Public Service Rules (PSR) issued by OHCSF and “Guidelines on Appointments, Promotion and Disciplines” issued by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) are very useful.”
She referenced a Circular, Ref. No. FCSC/CHMN/CL/17/WII/41 dated 24th October, 2013, issued by the FCSC on the matter.
“In cases where there are doubts, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation should be contacted for guidance.
“Henceforth, Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers (CEOS) whose poor handling of disciplinary matters leading to avoidable court cases, consequential financial implication and embarrassment to government shall be personally held liable,” she said.