Contractors for US federal IT upgrade announced

The starting gun has been fired on a drive to modernise information technology across the US Federal Government, with the award of contracts to five private companies. The drive, which was launched by the Trump administration, will begin with a pilot programme at the US Department of Agriculture that involves setting up five Centers of […]

Australia’s first employee-led mutual wins AUS$47m contract

Public servants in South Australia are setting up an independent, employee-led mutual organisation to provide government services, in the country’s first such project. The organisation, which is staffed by former officials of the Government of South Australia, will deliver early intervention services for children with disabilities and developmental delays under the National Disability Insurance Scheme […]

Russia launches cash incentives to boost birth rate

The Russian government has launched a new set of initiatives designed to boost the country’s birth rate, offering cash rewards and mortgage subsidies to poor families in a bid to reverse a steady population decline. Families earning less than 1.5 times the ‘minimum subsistence level’ – a key poverty measure – are to receive 10-11,000 […]

UN calls for gender monitoring of Pakistani appointments

Women face social barriers to decision-making posts in Pakistan’s federal civil service, a UN study has found – prompting senior UN figures to call for the introduction of a tracking system to monitor women’s participation and access to top posts. The proportion of new recruits to the Central Superior Services who are women has soared […]

Zimbabwean officials promised long-awaited bonuses

The Zimbabwean government has released a payment schedule for the 2017 end-of-year public service bonus, ending months of uncertainty for civil servants and other public sector staff. But the wait will continue for many, as payments of the customary “13th cheque” will be made on a staggered basis over the next four months, in line […]

Targets are cracking Australia’s glass ceiling, says minister

Women now make up 42% of all public board members appointed by the Australian government, foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop has said, putting the high proportion down to the introduction of a targets system. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has already hit the Turnbull government’s target that 50% of board and council […]

Scotland passes gender equality law for public boards

Legislation to require equal representation of women on public sector boards in Scotland has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. MSPs voted by 88 to 28 in favour of the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill, which was backed by all parties except the Scottish Conservatives. The new law sets a statutory objective for […]

India to offer free health services to half a billion people

The Indian government has announced an ambitious healthcare scheme covering as many as 500m beneficiaries, in a programme dubbed ‘Modicare’ – a play on prime minister Narendra Modi’s name, the USA’s Medicare system, and Barack Obama’s ‘Obamacare’ reforms. The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), touted by the government as the world’s largest healthcare programme, will […]

Kenya’s public service commission proposes ethnic quota system

Kenya’s Public Service Commission (PSC) has drawn up an ethnic quota system for recruitment to the civil service, in a bid to promote diversity and inclusion. The quota system, which has been devised as a guide for recruitment, sets limits on the number of civil service jobs that can be held by the country’s ethnic […]

Canada plans to replace Phoenix pay system

The Canadian government has announced plans to replace the beleaguered Phoenix pay system, blamed for making errors in calculating the pay of tens of thousands of public servants. It has committed to spend CAN$16m (US$12m) over the next two years on looking for a replacement for the computerised pay system, while also setting aside CAN$431.4m […]

Hunt for New Zealand’s first CTO is widened

The search for New Zealand’s first chief technology officer is to continue, after the government decided not to make an appointment from among the 60 applicants. An appointment for the NZ$500,000 post (US$365,000) was due to be announced at the Digital 5 Ministerial Summit in Wellington last week but has been postponed to an undisclosed […]

Obituary: Sir Paul Jenkins, former UK Treasury Solicitor

On Monday morning, the UK government’s former chief legal adviser Sir Paul Jenkins passed away. Matt Ross and Kevin Sorkin pay tribute to a man who combined legal and managerial talents with a huge personal commitment to building a better world Sir Paul Jenkins, who died this morning aged 63, was the UK government’s Treasury […]

Top Juncker aide named as EC secretary-general

The top aide to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has been named as the organisation’s next secretary-general. The appointment of head of cabinet Martin Selmayr as the European Union’s most senior civil servant was announced alongside the retirement of current secretary-general Alexander Italianer, 61, with effect from 1 March. The moves have also prompted a […]

Russian alcohol restrictions cut crime by 20%, study finds

Russian anti-alcohol policies have produced a significant decline in juvenile and adult crimes, according to new report. The study, carried out by Russian university the Higher School of Economics (HSE), finds that crime has fallen substantially in areas where local authorities have clamped down on alcohol consumption by raising local tax rates and curtailing licensing […]

Nigerian president orders procurement officials to favour domestic firms

Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has signed an Executive Order requiring public bodies to give preference to Nigerian companies when awarding procurement contracts. Executive Order 5, issued earlier this month with immediate effect, also requires the Ministry of the Interior to stop issuing visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria. Announcing the […]

New commissioners appointed to promote British trade in key markets

The UK government has begun appointing a set of new trade commissioners, in a bid to strengthen its support for exports as the country faces an uncertain future outside the EU. The first three appointments announced cover China, South Asia and North America, and represent the first of nine people in the job of Her […]

White House calls for pay freeze and benefits cuts

US federal employee organisations have sounded the alarm over a pay freeze and other provisions set out this week in the White House’s 2019 budget recommendation, warning that implementing the cuts would hamper recruitment. The suite of documents, issued on Monday by the White House Office of Management and Budget, proposes a freeze on across-the-board […]

TV contest for honest civil servants opens in South Africa

South Africans are being invited to name the country’s most honest and upstanding civil servants in a reality TV contest, with the winner receiving the title Integrity Idol. The show, run by global transparency NGO Accountability Lab, aims to bring the pizzazz of a prime-time talent contest for aspiring pop stars to the fight against […]

Gambia to introduce ‘score cards’ for civil servants

Gambia’s new Secretary General and Civil Service chief Habib Saihou Drammeh has hinted at introducing different score cards to assess the performance and output of civil servants. Drammeh made the suggestion while addressing the Gambian cabinet after taking his oaths of allegiance, office and secrecy at the State House in Banjul, the capital city. During […]

Singapore launches new cyber security regime

Singapore is to have a new cybersecurity tsar with wide-ranging powers to seize confidential information and impose penalties under legislation passed by its parliament on Monday last week. The Cybersecurity Bill requires owners of computer systems involved in the provision of essential public services in 11 designated areas to meet a set of statutory obligations […]