Director General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) Mohamed Massaquoi, has told journalists that rumour making the rounds that there have been massive sacking of staff at the National Civil Registration Authority, was untrue.
He made the above rebuttal while updating journalists on their activities and the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) project they are currently working on across the country.
"Let me use this opportunity to talk about a concern people have about our on-going recruitment at the NCRA that there has been so mush sacking. I want to use the opportunity to inform the public that the government is by the people and for the people of the country. We are not sacking people, rather what we are doing is giving people the opportunity to realise their potentials that they have the experience and qualification and there is a role they can play in building the country," he said.
He said when the government took over last year, they received complaints from staff and many other people that there was illegal recruitment, absorption, promotions and unprocedural Human Resources issues at the NCRA.
He said the aggrieved parties reported the issue and that government set up a committee at the Human Resources Management Office to investigate those complaints, noting that the investigation was done with the report presented.
He said some of the critical recommendations the report made were that due to the unwilling nature of the appointment process, the absorption or appointment of all previous staff be rescinded, consequential vacancies created must be advertised with merit based equipment followed in filling the vacancies.
He disclosed that previous contract workers were allowed to compete with other Sierra Leoneans.
He said the further recommended that further human resource audit should be undertaken to ascertain the qualification of senior staff holding senior and graduate positions without first degree or requisite qualification for such positions, and to rescind the appointment of such post holders who failed to meet the qualification standard.
He said all they were doing was to enforce the recommendations made by the report, adding that they were not doing it alone but with their other partners.
In his earlier statement, Director Massaquoi said sometimes in January 2019, a delegation from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa , the United Nations Children's Fund and a number of other development partners visited the country and undertook a compressive country assessment on the development of national plan for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Sierra Leone.
He said they presented the delegation to President Julius Maada Bio and told him that Sierra Leone was assessed in 2016 by the same United Nations, but that the country had some references on activities they ought to have undertaken.
He said since they took leadership last year, they have committed political leadership and supported the CRVS in the country that has enhanced their capacity and preparedness to meet the expectation of the guidelines set out by the United Nations in terms of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics.
He said they have commenced the assessment and have done the technical training that was described by the United Nations for all the African countries, and that in addition to the technical training, they undertook a countrywide field data collection in vital areas relevant to the CRVS.
He said the process saw the participation of all stakeholders of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in the country, ranging from government ministries, departments, agencies, Civil Society Organizations UN Agencies and other partners.
He said after the exercise, stakeholders met in Freetown and put their work together that covered the systematic areas the United Nations prescribed, including birth and death, adoption and marriages divorce, causes of death, verification and others.
He said they were currently putting the report together and that they have two consultants including one international and one national.
He said once they have done with the report, the next stage will be to conduct regional validation of those consultations they have.
He disclosed that by 27th of this month, they will commence the regional validation covering all five regions in the country to make sure that the data that was obtained reflects the opinion and wishes of the people.
He said after the completed the regional engagement, they will now put together a national strategic plan that will help guide the implementation of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in the country like it happening in other countries where the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics is working.
He said the UN has set guidelines to govern and guide the process and that concept plan will be used until they also put the country on global dashboard, noting that the country was signatory to many international trinities and as a government they wanted to make sure they observed those agreements.
He said in the area of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, the country was on top of situation and disclosed that even though they were yet to complete the process they have been requested by the United Nations to share with others and that they have been also requested to present the report at the Minister's Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Zambia in October.
He said there have been a lot of questions about the biometric Identity Cards from the public, and noted that they were working on it and very soon they will starts issuing cards to citizens as the process was almost completed.