Govt probe on BoT staffing scandal allegations coming 2008-06-20 10:33:49 By Correspondent Austin Beyadi The Public Service Commission said yesterday it will soon launch extensive investigations into reports that the Bank of Tanzania has employed a number of big shots` children without following laid down procedures. According to the reports, which surfaced some months ago, the bank violated employment regulations and procedures employing several prominent politicians` children through the back door. The bank has also been dogged by allegations of grand corruption involving the misappropriation of hundreds of billions of shillings in public funds. ``We expect to investigate the allegations (of flagrant violations of staff employment procedures) any of these days. We have the full mandate to do so,`` said Thecla Shangali, Permanent Secretary in the President`s Office. She explained that recently endorsed public service regulations have given the commission powers to probe government agencies or institutions, including the central bank, on all matters relating to their operations. Shangali would not be drawn into stating when the investigations would start, only saying they already ``spotted and fired`` 20 staff members of government agencies and institutions found to have been employed under questionable circumstances. The commission routinely screens the job applications of all newly recruited public servants, principally to identify those engaged contrary to procedures. ``We commonly throw out all these, some of them being without the qualifications they need for the positions they hold, instead reconsidering qualified applicants improperly or unfairly sidelined,`` elaborated the PS, adding that they would use the same approach in carrying out the upcoming scrutiny at the central bank. She quickly added that the commission played no direct role in the process of recruiting staff for government institutions or agencies ``although we can intervene and investigate once in the event of allegations on irregularities and violations of employment regulations or procedures``. Meanwhile, PSC Chairman Jovin Kitambi said the commission was there to oversee the administration and management of services and related activities in the public sector. These include recruitment, promotions and discipline. The commission is also charged with ensuring and enhancing respect for, observance of and adherence to the code of professional ethics for public servants. Kitambi said the commission has since its inception handled more than 73,500 cases, most related to staff promotions, pensions and discipline, as well as the registration of new teachers. It has also established a mechanism through which civil servants can freely express their concerns and problems. Prof Benno Ndulu announced soon after his appointment as BoT Governor early this year that his office would make a close follow-up of the scandal allegations involving the bank. Addressing a news conference in Dar es Salaam on January 21, Prof Ndulu admitted that the sons and daughters of some influential politicians and other heavyweights formed part of the bank`s workforce. However, he said it was yet to be established whether any had been recruited ``improperly`` as alleged. The BoT chief pointed out that thorough official investigations were going on and all those suspected to have been employed through nepotism or otherwise dishonestly would undergo rigorous tests to verify their qualifications and suitability for the posts they were holding. But there has been little visible progress on the matter. My Take: Mwanzoni Ndullu alisema wanafanya uchunguzi huo na Takukuru na wenyewe wakasema wanafuatilia... sasa idara ya utumishi nao wanataka kufanya uchunguzi wa kitu kile kile ambacho tayari kinachunguzwa... kwanini na sisi tusianzishe uchunguzi wa kuwachunguza wao wanapochunguza wenzao?