Friday February 14 2014

Work fast on new payment system

The first two months of the year are known for scarcity of money, which often result from expenses incurred during Christmas and New Year celebrations. Even when the salaries come at the end of January or February, the budget is already fixed for crucial necessities such as paying fees for children as they start the new school year.

It, therefore, becomes a nightmare if one misses their salary or when it delays. That sadly, is the situation faced by several public servants across the country whose January salaries have delayed. According to the ministry of Finance, the delay resulted from the introduction of a new payment system which is yet to be adjusted to by various ministries.

Investigations by this paper show that public servants in the ministries of education, public service and agriculture are the most affected by this development which is likely to take a while.

The new payment system will see the localisation of payment to the various ministries. This is a good development since in the long run; it will cut down on delays that may arise during the dispensing salaries or clearing anomalies in payments.
However, the process of adopting this new payment system should not take unnecessarily long as public servants, like the rest of Ugandans, have financial needs to cater for. There should be a fair timeline within which all this shift to the new system should be complete to avoid undue financial pain to government workers, especially those whose salaries are already a point of contention.

It is also important that the different ministries keep constant communication with the civil servants under their docket about the progress being made in updating the new system and what is required of the workers.

According to an official from the Education ministry, all teachers must have tax identification numbers which is supposed to be applied for online before they can receive their January salaries. But has this information been widely disseminated and have the details of the requirements been provided?
The effective, timely and open management of this system from the start, will ease the frustration that already exists over the delayed salaries and ensure it is embraced by all.