Dud civil servants face sack while on probation

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 January, 1999, 12:00am

Potentially high-flying civil servants found to be incompetent face the sack before they have finished probation, the Government has warned.

But some officers have voiced concerns they will not be given enough time to prove their ability at work.

The Civil Service Bureau recently highlighted in a letter to all administrative officers - recruits intended for the top rungs - that incompetent staff could be sacked even before the three-year probation had ended.

'We know that some might take it for granted they will be allowed to stay on after the probation. We want to ensure everyone knows that this is not a matter of course,' said Principal Assistant Secretary for Civil Service Bernadette Linn Hon-ho.

She denied the letter was prompted by falling standards among the 100 officers on probation. Figures show no officers had been dismissed during probation between 1993 and 1995.

Those who joined in 1996 are still on probation.

Five had their probation extended for another six months or one year while 11 officers resigned.

Officers are required to move jobs within the service by the third year of service.

Officers who perform unsatisfactorily for the first two appraisals will be counselled by the principal assistant secretary.

Two more unsatisfactory records will land them at the deputy secretary level for follow-up. Ms Linn said early dismissal was good for incompetent staff.

'If he or she really is not suited to the job, it will be good to let them know at an early stage so that they can prepare for another career,' she said.

But some officers are worried they will not be given enough time to prove their competence.