by Sarban Singh
SEREMBAN: Cuepacs, the umbrella body representing public sector unions, is disputing the Public Service Department’s (PSD) stand that promotions in the civil service are based on merit.
Cuepacs president Omar Osman said making those vying for promotions get a supporting letter from their department heads went against the concept of meritocracy.
“The PSD can say anything in its circular but the entire process is not really based on merit.
“We have had cases where junior officers are plucked from nowhere and promoted simply because they were in the good books of their superiors,” he said yesterday.
The PSD, in a recent comprehensive circular, had claimed that all promotions and acting positions were filled justly and only those with the necessary qualifications, experience and who were good at their work were promoted.
On June 30, his last day of work, June 30, Public Service director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam – who signed the circular – said the individual should also be acceptable to his head of department.
Ismail said if there were two or more employees who were equally qualified, the promotions board in the particular ministry should look at their academic qualification, seniority and work experience.
“Even those on unpaid, paid or half-pay leave can be considered for promotions,” he said.
Ismail said civil servants must declare their assets frequently if they wished to progress in their careers.
As for the hundreds of million ringgit in unpaid study loans that civil servants owe the PSD, Mara, the National Higher Education Fund Corporation and state governments, he said the agencies had made numerous attempts to get defaulters to pay up, even by naming them in newspapers, but not many had responded.
“As far as we are concerned, those listed as hardcore defaulters cannot be considered (for promotions or acting positions),” he said.
To this, Omar said many civil servants, particularly those in the support group, were being denied study loans to pursue tertiary education on grounds the Government did not have a sufficient budget for this.
He urged defaulters to repay the loans so others could benefit from the facility.
He also urged the Government to be strict in enforcing the no-promotion rule to encourage defaulters to pay up.