Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of Service of the Federation, has warned permanent secretaries and chief executive officers in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that they will be held liable over the escalating number of lawsuits filed against the Federal Government by civil servants.
Yemi-Esan issued the warning in a memo with reference no: HCSF 3065/Vol.1/125, dated 6 December and had the Chief of Staff to the president, ministers, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), permanent secretaries and all the heads of government agencies all copied.
According to the HoS, the rise in the number of cases instituted against the government has been due to the inability of permanent secretaries and chief executive officers of MDAs to effectively the disciplinary cases against workers.
The memo read: “It has been observed with great concern that there is an increase in court cases arising from dismissal and termination of appointment of staff without proper administrative procedures by some MDAs.
“This has led to avoidable litigation leading to court judgements against government with huge consequential financial burden.
“In most cases, the office of the head of the civil service of the federation (OHCSF) is joined as defendant in the litigations instituted by the aggrieved staff or their unions. The consequential appearance by the legal officers depletes the limited resources of the office.
“In the light of the above development, all MDAs are strongly advised to follow due process in handling staff matters, especially disciplinary cases.
“As you are aware, there are useful extant rules, regulations and guidelines that guide disciplinary processes. Specifically, Public Service Rules (PSR) issued by OHCSF and “guidelines on appointments, promotion and disciplines” issued by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) are very useful. Circular, Ref. No. FCSC/CHMN/CL/17/WI.1/41 dated 24″, October, 2013, issued by the Commission, is also useful.”
The HoS urged the heads of MDAs to properly handle disciplinary matters within their areas of jurisdiction or will be held responsible for litigations by workers against the Federal Government.
She added that “in cases where there are doubts, the office of the head of the civil service of the federation should be contacted for guidance”.
“Henceforth, permanent secretaries and chief executive officers (CEOs) whose poor handling of disciplinary matters leading to avoidable court cases, consequential financial implication and embarrassment to government shall be personally held liable,” the memo read.