Panel that probes SSHFC crisis says staff broke the law

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The panel established by President Adama Barrow to investigate the crisis at the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation has concluded that the protest carried out by staff were not in accordance of the law.

The panel recommended for the protesting staff to be disciplined by the Board on the ground that they violated the law.

The panel quoted the Labour Act and various laws that the staff did not observe during their protest.

“It is the view of the panel that the people who have broken the law, the regulations and the staff rules during the crisis be discipline by the board. Rule of law and stability at our work places must be maintained in order to bring about the benefits of development to the people. There were serious lapses the way the staff expressed their concerns, redress and settlement,” chair of the panel, Lamin Samateh, said.

Samateh made the statement as the panel presented their findings to the Gambian leader on Thursday morning at State House.

The panel took little over a month to conclude their findings.

We have looked at staff complaints in their petition… We have looked at the structural weaknesses of the institution and came up with recommendations,” he added.

“In tracing the background and causes of the crisis, the panel established that on assuming duty the managing director Muhammed Manjang has found the institution in severe financial and management distress. He had then set out to address some of the problems discovered by embarking on a number of cost-cutting measures. He did not at the time appeared to have provoked resistance from the staff.

“Part of the measures he chose to address was through the commissioning of an institutional assessment and staff audit of the corporation by an independent consultancy firm. The report of that exercise made a number of recommendations whose implementations would mean that staff would have to be retrenched or redeploy; appointment or promotion would need to be rationalize and staff skills would have to be looked at against the functions the staff carry out. Apparently, this information got to be known to the staff after a management meeting at which the report has been discussed…

“Generally, the panel observed that the corporation need reforms as it has suffered severely of bad governance of the recent decades. The panel therefore recommend the full details of the recommendations of the consultancy report entitle “Institutional Assessment and Human Resource Audit” by the consultant Senghore Associates. The implementation of the report will be beneficial to the owners of the corporation and the staff. We have recommended that the board be supported for the implementation of the reforms…”

Both the Gambian leader Barrow and Secretary General Ebrima O. Camara assured they will implement the recommendations without reservations.

There were no much details as to the fate of Muhammed Manjang or Momodou Camara but the findings appear to the favouring the suspended former director Manjang.

Both staff are currently suspended.

2018-10-18T14:43:19+00:00

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