CSA clarifies FrontPage Africa Online misleading heading on the Director-General official statement on the GoL wage bill harmonization Exercise
The attention of the Civil Service Agency is drawn to an article published in the FrontPage Africa Online on Thursday, July 4, 2019 Edition, in which the online publication seemed to have deliberately distorted a comment made by the Director General of the Civil Service Agency, Hon. Laurine Wede Johnson, when she addressed the Regular Press Briefing of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism on the outcome of the Government of Liberia’s Wage Harmonization Exercise.
In its publication, the FPA wrote that “The Director General of the Civil Service Agency has acknowledged for the first time that the excessive wage bill implemented by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change government affected key government projects and development objectives”. The CSA disputes this statement because of its inaccuracy and the implied intent. There was nothing in the DG’s statement that can be interpreted to admitting to anything that the government was hiding, had ever denied, or wasn’t already public knowledge.
The size of the country’s wage bill and its impact on the goals and priorities of the government has never been a secret that the DG was “admitting for the first time”. In addition, there was nowhere in the DG’s statement that she attributed the size and challenge of the wage bill to the CDC-led government. Wage Bill growth has been a serious challenge for the Government of Liberia for many years, long before the inception of the CDC-led Government, who has developed the political will to address it, whereas many attempts in the past failed.
In her exact comment at the MICAT Press briefing, which the FPA publication seems to be distorting, the DG of the CSA said, “Already at an unsustainable level of growth, the wage bill was expected to continue to rise, due to poor human resource management practices across the government, especially related to employment, and the discretionary management of allowances and is really troubling the economy. This outlook overcrowded our Government’s ability to fund additional developmental projects, a major challenge the Wage Bill Technical Committee, led by the Civil Service Agency and MFDP, is addressing”.As is clear here, this statement does not convey the meaning that the FrontPage Africa intended to attach to it in its article.
In conclusion, it is important to note that, the current exercise yielded largely its objective by reducing the wage bill from $322m in FY 18/19 to $297m in FY 19/20.