The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation – which is considered as one of the biggest ministries – has been without a receptionist since 2014.
Upon inquiry the ministry’s permanent secretary, Bro-Mathews Shinguadja, said some vacant positions are due to the new organisational structure, which was approved in December 2014, and they are still in the process of filling all positions.
“I don’t know if that position falls among those that were left out, as they were not on the new employment funding structure, therefore there’s no way we can have someone and later end up not paying that person,” stressed Shinguadja, who further said that he is currently on leave and could thus not shed more light on the matter.
He could also not confirm whether the position would be filled in the coming financial year. “Due to limited funds we were advised by government to cut spending and focus on critical positions essential to the ministry, and thus keep the unnecessary ones on hold. This could be one of the reasons” that the post has not been filled,” Shinguadja said.
The issue of not having a receptionist to divert calls to the relevant officials has caused great inconvenience to the public, as they often have no other means to get in touch with the relevant officials, as only those based in the capital are able to physically come to the ministry’s offices.
Shinguadja said the quickest way to get hold of the relevant official is by knowing their direct extension numbers. This presents some difficulty to most people who are not able to physically come to the office, as there is no one employed at the reception or switchboard to provide such details.