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Public Servants Teeter On The Brink Of Redundancies

Panafrican News Agency, 20 June 2000

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (PANA) - Thousands of civil servants in Tanzania are currently teetering on the brink of redundancies following Tuesday's unveiling of a sweeping Public Service Reform Programme.

The programme, announced by President Benjamin Mkapa, spells out radical measures aimed at trimming Tanzania's civil service and putting in place what officials describe as a quality workforce at a reasonable cost.

Among the first to go will be auxiliary staff who include messengers, guards, cleaners and gardeners, whose services will now be provided by quasi-autonomous executive agencies to be managed on commercial principles.

The first phase of the reforms, under way since 1993, saw government employment reduced from 354,000 to 264,000 heads but officials are still uncertain about how many heads will have to roll this time.

The new programme, whose mandate stretches into 2011, seeks to further improve the structure and level of civil service pay and further rationalise the structure and functions of government.

Officials say the programme will improve efficiency in the management of public expenditure, strengthen public service capacity for the management of economic growth and poverty reduction, and improve the delivery of services to meet public expectations in terms of value, satisfaction, and relevance.