Friday, 15 August 2014


Making the civil service more efficient….

Integrated Personnel and Payroll InformatIon system (IPPIS) is the most grossly misunderstood, mishandled project we have. The new Head of Service must ensure the full and urgent implementation of the IPPIS personnel management module. 

The key objective of the IPPIS project, which started in 2007 is to implement and deploy a Human Resource platform which will among other things, facilitate effective manpower planning,
enhance tracking of personnel related expenditure and provide for a centralised payroll system that eliminates payroll fraud, ghost workers and ensures prompt payment of salaries across the Federal Public Service.

While the goal of eliminating payroll fraud and ghost workers had been largely achieved as at July 2013 when employees of 213 MDAs had been enrolled and were being paid off IPPIS, the huge savings made from eliminating payroll fraud and ghost workers from the Service, were steadily being reversed due to a number of reasons which include the passive involvement of key Employee Management Institutions in the design and implementation of IPPIS and the resultant non- implementation of the non-payroll modules of IPPIS, which are very critical to ensuring the accuracy of the IPPIS employee database.
With technical quality assurance support from FEPAR, the OHCSF ensured the proper definition and building of the system’s HRM module, its activation and linkage to payroll on the IPPIS portal. The following activities have also been undertaken:
  • The mapping and validation of Human Resource Management ‘to-be’ processes for the HRM module of IPPIS. This involved:
    An initial retreat where the IPPIS implementation IPPIS vendor presented an overview of the process steps that can be moved onto IPPIS, based on their understanding of Federal Government’s HRM ‘As Is’ processes;
    The development and proposal of end-to-end HRM ‘To Be’ processes, which harmonised the HRM ‘As Is’ processes and the proposed system processes;
    • The presentation and validation of the proposed harmonised HRM ‘To Be’ processes at a two-day retreat.
    • Many of the participants at the retreat acknowledged that this was the first time the end-to-end HRM processes in the Federal Civil Service were being mapped, understood and agreed; and
    • Further validation of the processes from all Directors of HRM in the Federal Civil Service.
  • The establishment and staffing of an IPPIS secretariat at the OHCSF;
  • The institution of a governance structure for the IPPIS project through the establishment of IPPIS Steering and IPPIS Project Management
  • Project plan for IPPIS HRM implementation agreed with stakeholders.
    The current version of the IPPIS project plan states September 2015 as the date for the pilot implementation of the HRM module of the IPPIS at the OHCSF.
    To ensure that the IPPIS system maximises its potential, the following actions are necessary:
    The development of IPPIS HR Module Training strategy, curriculum and plan and agree for implementation;
    Ensure the IPPIS implementation vendor implements IPPIS HRM modules in line with the contract executed with the Federal Government; 
    • Ensure the design and implementation of the IPPIS HRM modules are aligned with and support the on-going HR reform in the Federal Civil Service;
    • Improve current levels of the ownership of IPPIS by the OHCSF and HR function across the Federal Civil Service; and
    • Focus attention on the need for all key control agencies to be committed to and be actively involved in the on-going implementation of IPPIS.
    • Promotions.

      We need to make capacity building needs-based. We should copy the military. Before somebody is promoted, they must have attended certain courses.

      To address the prevalent issue of low morale in the Federal Civil Service, the OHCSF in collaboration with the FCSC embarked on an unprecedented promotion exercise that resulted in the emergence of 150 deserving officers as Directors. The OHCSF created two new departments in MDAs to ensure all newly promoted directors are posted to departments across the Federal Civil Service. These departments are the Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Department and the General Services Department.
      This General Services Department is responsible for institutionalising a maintenance culture in the MDA on a sustainable basis. The purpose of the department is to coordinate the management and maintenance of all assets of the Ministry. The Director reports to the Permanent Secretary. The functions of the General Service Department include the management of Plant and Equipment; Fleet; Property; Facility; General Administration; Security; and Stores.

      The Reform Coordination Department supports change, reform, innovation and improvement efforts within the MDA. The purpose of the department is to coordinate all reform and service improvement activities in the MDA. The Director reports to the Permanent Secretary and works in close liaison with Civil Service Transformation Department, Service Policies and Strategies Office (SPSO), OHCSF, BPSR and SERVICOM.

      Working with other key departments such as Planning Research and Statistics and HRM, the Reform Coordination Department supports all changes, reform, innovation and improvement efforts within the Ministry in line with the overall framework set by the Steering Committee on Reforms, OHCSF, BPSR, SERVICOM and other central agencies of Government.

      It also works with the leadership of the Ministry to identify processes, systems and service gaps and also with OHCSF, BPSR and other central agencies to develop interventions to eliminate such gaps. It coordinates, drives, monitors and reports on the Reform Agenda for the Ministry and manages and drives SERVICOM’s aims and initiatives within the Ministry. The Department troubleshoots service failures and develops proposals to address them. Another of its functions is to share experience about what works and works to mainstream a continuous service improvement culture within the Ministry.

      The OHCSF has posted Directors and/ or officers to most Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Departments in MDAs. The Service has also released a circular signed on 31st March, 2014 stating the functions, reporting lines and organisational structure of the departments. The Director General of BPSR has met twice with Directors of Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Departments in MDAs in furtherance of attaining the objectives of the reform. BPSR has also consulted Directors of Reform Coordination on the refreshed National Strategy for Public Service Reforms.To make the Departments of Reform coordination vibrant and useful, the following are recommended:

      BPSR should organise a workshop, in partnership with the OHCSF, to provide Directors and Heads of Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Departments with a shared understanding of the refreshed NSPSR;
      The conclusion of the development of the Implementation Pl~an for the first phase of the refreshed NSPSR;
      The development and approval of work processes and coordination mechanisms for Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Departments by relevant stakeholders; and

  • On-going provision of critical support Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Departments to ensure implementation of work processes by departments. 

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