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Statement by Mr. Mike K. Gabah, Commisioner, Public Services Commission on the Occasion of the Launch of the Scheme of Service of Students Loan Trust Fund.

Mr. Chairman, Hon Deputy Minister for Education, Current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SLTF, Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SLTF, Other Members of the Board of Trustees of the SLTF, CEO of Trustees of the SLTF, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

The PSC is most honoured to be invited to participate in this very important function, where the Fund’s brand new Scheme of Service is to be launched. We want to congratulate the SLTF for not only producing the Scheme of Service but also printing it in such an attractive and beautiful form. We commend the current Board of Trustee and Management of the Funds, as well as the immediate past Board and Management for their foresight, commitment and perseverance in bringing the dream of having this document at all cost, to fruition. It has taken several years and dedication to get to this stage of the project.

The PSC, of course, has been supportive in the production of the document and we must place on record, our pleasure in working very closely with our colleague public servants from the Fund. We learnt a lot from them and we believe that they also benefited from the technical support that we provided.

As we launch this document today, we want to urge you all to accept it and take it as your own, to ensure that it is implemented successfully. As we explained to you we had the opportunity to sensitize you on the document last year, the importance of the Scheme of Service lies in the fact that, among other things, it

  1. provides a clearly-defined structure for your organisation;
  2. prescribes qualifications and other conditions for entry into existing approved positions;
  3. prescribes, required and desired competencies and available training opportunities for all categories of staff;
  4. spells out progression path; and
  5. as a consequence of the above, contributes to the creation of conditions for the attraction, retention and motivation of qualified and eligible persons to contribute effectively towards the attainment of the Fund’s goals and objectives.

Mr. Chairman, we are aware that when organisations produce or update Schemes of Service, some staff members are apprehensive about how their careers will be affected. That is understandable. But that should not be the case. The Scheme of Service is rather meant to better your lot. Its effective implementation will ensure that only qualified persons are appointed into the Fund and that the appropriate procedures are followed in appointments, and that the promotions will be based on high performance, eligibility, availability of vacancies and other specified conditions. It will also provide guidance to Management on the various capacity building opportunities available to enhance the performance of staff. Furthermore, the expected migration of staff from their current positions onto the new one would enable staff to be placed on positions which their current qualifications, relevant work experience and training make them eligible for. In this way, deserving officers will be given their due, while those who do not have requisite requirements, will be encouraged and challenged to improve their qualifications and raise their performance levels, to be able to attain the position that they aspire to.

Mr. Chairman, the Commission will keenly follow the implementation of the Scheme of Service and, as usual, offer assistance to resolve any issues that may arise out of it – including any legitimate and justifiable grounds to review parts of the document. Every staff has the right to know what is provided in it. If staff are given the opportunity to read and familiarise themselves with it, it makes the work of the HRM Department and also Management easier, and enhances good governance and accountability.

Once again, we congratulate you for this achievement and wish you all the best in its implementation. We also wish to encourage you to consider producing other important HRM documents, such as Conditions of Service, Training Policy, Organisational Manual to assist in the effective and efficient management of your human capital and higher productivity.

Thank you

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