8th September, 2010
The Head of Service (HOS) of Lagos State, SouthWest, Nigeria, Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe, has threatened to sanction civil servants in the state who fail to adhere strictly to the 48-hour deadline for correspondences to be effected and passed by them.
The HOS, while lamenting the bureaucratic bottleneck involved in handling such official letters by some staff in the various ministries, parastatals and agencies, also threatened that apart from sanctioning the erring staff, the supervising officer and Head of Department of such staff would be penalised.
Mr. Ogunlewe, who sent a circular on the issue to all government establishments in the state, stated that official correspondence and files are always delayed in most of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) â€œdue to the long line of reporting system being adopted by supervising officers who usually delegate assignments to subordinate officers.
â€œThe subordinate officers, in turn, delegate same to two or more low ranking officers, thus creating long chain of command.â€
He said this delay made it difficult to track the officers responsible for the delay.
â€œSome Heads of MDAs have tended to personalise official correspondence to the extent that mails and files are left untreated whenever they are not on their duty post,â€ he added.
The HOS advised heads of departments to reduce the line of reporting while they should adopt mechanisms to enhance the 48-hour deadline for such correspondence and files to be passed.
He also instructed that in the absence of heads of MDAs, mails and files should be handled by the next most senior person in accordance with laid down regulations.
â€œIt is therefore to be noted that any form of ineptitude or outright dereliction of duty, arising from treatment of official correspondence and files, by subordinate officers would attract appropriate sanctions not only to the defaulting staff but also the supervising officer or Head of Department and Directorate,â€ he warned.