ISSUED DIRECTIVE ON DRESS CODE: Public Service PS Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwire

The Ministry of Public Service is overwhelmed by the number of civil servants who want to change their age declared on joining the public service.

In a letter addressed to all Permanent Secretaries, Chief Administrative Officers, Town Clerks, Directors of Regional Referral Hospitals and Heads of Government Agencies, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire says that the Ministry of Public Service has of recent received several requests from public officers to change their dates of birth.

‘The requests for change of dates of birth follow the biometric validation of Public Officers and matching of their data with the National Identification Register. Arising out of this exercise some Public Officers’ dates of birth on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) did not tally with the dates of birth on the National Identification Register,’ reads the document that was also copied to the Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet Office of the President.

‘In another development, for some Public Officers, the requests for change of dates of birth are submitted when they are approaching the time of attainment of mandatory retirement age, which creates doubt of the intent of the officer. In accordance with section L-b (7) of the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders, the date of birth of a Public Officer shall be that which was initially recorded unless unquestionable evidence to the contrary is produced and accepted by the Responsible Permanent Secretary’, the PS wrote.

The statement further informed them that no public officer should be allowed to amend their ages. ‘The purpose of this letter therefore, is to inform you that Ministry of Public Service will continue to uphold the dates of birth that a Public Officer declared earliest upon his/her initial appointment in the Public Service. You are required to bring the contents of this letter to the attention of all staff in your Ministry, Department, Agency or Local Government’, she added.

Though no particular names of officers who want to amend their ages, one of them is Deputy Chief Justice Kavuma who, in December wrote to the Judiciary requesting to amend his official age, contesting his birthday and current age of 69 years, which would make him a candidate for retirement in September this year.

It’s a constitutional requirement for judges of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court, which doubles as the Court of Appeal, to retire at 70 years of age while judges of the High court retire at 65 years.