In an effort to cut unnecessary expenditures and lower the country’s growing debt, officials have shifted their attention to state departments and the excessive number of civil servants on the government’s payroll.
A senior government official has stated that to ensure that civil servant numbers, salaries and supporting allowances are accurate, inspections have been performed and will continue to be carried out.
Last month, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith directed all state departments to confirm the number of civil servants currently employed to avoid issuing duplicate salaries, ensuring that funds and supporting allowances are only being paid to actual employees and not just names on a list.
Director General of the Civil Servant Management Department, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr Souvanny Lattanavong, stated that inspections carried out in May has indicated that as many as 184,268 civil servants are on the national payroll.
According to Mr Souvanny, previous inspections have been based solely on reports, causing loopholes in the system. To rectify and regulate the number of civil servants being reported, state departments have been ordered to carry out inspections routinely, and update civil servants numbers and policies quarterly.
He explained that the number of civil servants can potentially be reported inaccurately, in cases where the state departments fail to properly verify employees, resulting in ex-employees continuing to receive wages even after leaving their positions.
In an attempt to resolve this issue, officials plan to launch a first-hand inspection, issuing civil servant ID cards scheduled to be launched at the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Organizing and Personnel Committee of the Party Central Committee then further expanding to other central-level organizations.
A proposal has been submitted to the Prime Minister seeking guidance and once the Prime Minister gives approval, the civil servant ID cards can be issued. The ID card issuance to central-level organizations is expected to be completed by 2018, with local departments to follow.
To inspect and ensure accurate numbers of civil servants, Mr Souvanny said his officials would distribute the ID card personally.