MDAs urged to submit credible manpower data

Ansu Tucker, Director General of the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO), has urged ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to submit credible data for the 2021 Financial Year. The two-week Annual Manpower Hearings for the 2020 Financial Year started on Tuesday 11th August 2020 on the theme “Prudent Human Resource Planning to Improve Service Delivery” at the Civil Service Training College and is expected to host about 60 MDAs. He further advised that they should take it seriously as the process is based on facts, and “the plans that are submitted are not just cooked, these are figures that are based on real empirical evidence”.

“So we have to rely on you. The data you submit to us should be very credible because it is what we are going to have as the basis to design the manpower plan, and of course we have to do it in a timely manner.” He noted that when the Ministry of Finance goes to formulate the final budget at HRMO they should have completed their own hearings, and compiled all forecasts and needs for onward submission to the ministry. Director General Tucker explained that the outcome of the hearings will form the basis that will inform their starting needs in the Civil Service. “This process is very integral to the budget process. The budget process starts now and it begins with the manpower hearing. The hearings informs the personnel cost which are going to be factored in the overall national budget,” he said.

In his keynote address at the opening of the hearing, he said he can confirm that the manpower cost for government accounts for a little over 40% of domestic revenue, he said this shows government attaches a lot of importance to manpower cost. Over the years, he said they have seen the evolution of staffing numbers and dramatic increase in the wage bill, that if they do not manage it in a way that allows government to forecast the needs it will be difficult for them to forecast.

As a result they introduced manpower planning to reduce the volatility and unpredictability of the budget process. “We have seen that over the years we have been recruiting and promoting persons and most times we do ignore the financial implications for all of the actions we take.” He said that MDAs assume that people should just be promoted or they should just be appointed because there is no job, but cautioned that their recruitment and planning processes have to embedded in their human resource planning.

The human resource planning has two ends: he said there is a demand side which forecasts the needs of the service and the supply, which deals with how you meet the supply of human resource in the short to medium term. “We have to properly forecast the manpower needs to know who and who are going to retire and so those aspect of separation that cannot be forecast like death we normally report them during the manpower hearing. Also, persons who abandon their positions are reported during the hearing, but the ones that we can forecast which is the retirement are properly planned,” he said.

Over the years, they have been doing extension of service he said is being done not just to retain or favour people, but because they have serious skills gap that the hearings help identify and do their succession planning. “So that we are able to identify the gaps that have occurred those that are likely to retire, promoted and also inform their training, we have also introduced the system of performance management which is supportive to the process. We have seen that in the course of our performance management reviews we have identified training needs and gaps,” he added.

By Zainab Iyamide Joaque