Govt Loses Big in Salaries Judgement

  • DPSM orders all “disadvantaged” officers upgraded
  • Affected employees to enjoy a ‘windfall’ in back-pays


Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) says it is implementing a Court of Appeal (CoA) judgment pertaining to a directive and savingrams on multiple tilting and grading of C-band positions.

This happens after 176 employees of the Ministry of Agriculture challenged the failure to implement a savingram from DPSM to introduce multiple grading and tilting all positions in the C-band in the public service. The CoA last year ruled in favour of the employees.
According to court papers, in 2001 the government issued a directive whose objective was, among others, to allow for direct appointment of graduates with appropriate academic qualifications but without experience at entry level.

The DPSM Directive No. 6 of 2008 was in furtherance of a follow-up of a 2007 savingram on multiple grading and titling of all C-band positions. It was also aimed at facilitating faster progression of serving officers who qualify for promotion with the need for ministries to request additional posts or resources.

The DPSM Directive No. 10 of 2001, dated June 18, 2001 was issued to reduce the period of progression from one grade of C-band positions to another. As part of improving public service capacity, a decision was taken through a savingram dated 30 May 2007 that all positions at C-band be multi-tilted and graded to effectively create a pool of posts at the C-band, thus providing ministries with flexibility in recruitment and filling of the posts.
This week the Acting DPSM Dr Omponye Kereteletswe issued a circular whose purpose is to provide guidance and guidelines on implementation of the CoA judgment on this issue. “Some ministries fully or partially implemented the above stated directive and savingrams, whilst others did not,” said the circular. “As a consequence, there have been several court cases where employees in ministries who had not implemented the directive and savingrams sought the courts’ interventions.”

The DPSM emphasised that the CoA ordered that all officers who were disadvantaged by the failure to implement the savingram of 30 May 2007 on multiple grading be upgraded and paid salary arrears in that regard. He added that DPSM is bound by the directives No. 10 of 2001 and No. 6 of 2008 and that lack of positions or finance is not a defence for non-compliance.

He noted that the principle of parity is applicable and should be applied to all public servants and that what some officers in the same cadre have enjoyed should be extended to the rest.

“In implementing the court judgment, the Accounting Officers are hereby instructed to maintain strict adherence of the laid out HR practices pertaining to recruitment and promotion in the public service,” Kereteletswe’s circular said. “Given the differences in individual progression, this exercise should be assessed on a case by case basis.”
He added that officers must have completed at least two years in a given grade and their performance should have been reviewed during that period.

This dispensation takes effect from April 2008, but the date of implementation will differ from individual to individual depending on the processes involved in recruitment and promotion.