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The Head of the Documentation Authentication and Registration Office (DARO) YirgaTadesse, has resigned from his position.
Sources at DARO told Capital that Yirga, who lead the office for the past two decades, has decided to quit his job for personal reasons.
Sources indicated that Ministry of Justice which is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing the office has accepted the resignation that YirgaTadesse tendered about a month ago.
Yirga told Capital that he needs to rest and take care of a health condition.
“I have worked in a leadership position for 20 years, now I need to leave the place for others,” he said. “I have done what I have to do my staff and I have been successful and have achieved many accomplishments, I need give someone else a chance to lead DARO,” he added.
“After some rest I will consider other options I may become involved with in the future,” he said. But he hinted that he is interested in managing his own legal consultancy service firm that will serve businesses and investments.
Even though the head officially stated that he decided to leave the office for health reasons, sources said that the head was disappointed about some issues related to the expansion of the office and incentives and recognitions for employees and DARO.
“He was dissatisfied about the recognition and support that the office was getting. DARO has been recognized for its work and has accomplished many of its daily goals,” staff at DARO explained. Sources said that the government did not give DARO the attention they felt that the agency deserved especially in light of the fact that it has been mentioned by respected agencies as an example of good governance. Yirga was also said to be disappointed with the issue of salary adjustments. About a year ago they had requested a salary increase to MoJ, which at the time was lead by Birhane Haile.
A few weeks ago a circular was sent to employees giving a final decision about the potential pay raise.
According to sources at DARO, the agency conducted a study on salary adjustments that they hoped would be considered, using other federal agencies as a benchmark. DARO submitted the study to MoJ and the Ministry of Civil Service. Other federal employees did receive a salary adjustment based on the DARO study.
DARO employees did get a raise this past month (December 2013) but they waited a long time and the amount, approved by Ministry of Civil Service, was lower than they had hoped. Yirga was said to be disappointed about the long waiting period and lower than expected salary increase. Only staff working in the ‘core division’ got a raise while support staff did not. DARO had requested a raise for all workers. The source said that Yirga felt the unequal salary adjustment would divide the staff and discourage them from remaining at the office.
“The salary adjustment issue led to a disagreement between the head and officials at the Ministry of Civil Service, which was a contributing factor to Yirga’s decision to resign from his office,” sources who are close to the issue told Capital.
According to sources, the head will leave the office as of Wednesday January 9, 2014. The sudden resignation, which was announced to employees this week, has caused confusion
Yirga felt that the salary issue would cause good employees to leave, and the managing director also commented that the situation may force experienced and capable employees to consider looking for other work, which occurred previously when a previous salary adjustment was delayed. However, he declined to give any details about the salary adjustment issue.
The office that has been an example of a successful civil service institution since it was organized under Ministry of Justice. Five years ago it implemented a program called Business Process Re-engineering. As a result it has been able to handle cases for customers within a few hours, whereas previously it took several days. The managing director that served for 37 years in various government institutions, from the age of 13, has been able to list several accomplishments while at DARO.
The Agency received the first Ethiopian Quality Award and After two years of preparation the office has also received the ISO 9001:2008 quality certificate from the German based quality certification organization, DQS UL.
The office has also able to expand its office from one branch to 10 in Addis Ababa and one in Dire Dawa. DARO has also been included on the United Nation Habitat Best Practice Data Base after it participated in the Dubai International Award to Improve the Living Environment last year.
About 20 years ago the office providing services to 30 clients per day, now that number has reached 3,500 clients per day. The number of cases and the revenue of the office has also grown along with the number of customers. The number of employees that was about 30 two decades ago has now increased to over 700. An Information technology scheme is also considered another achievement for DARO. Clients are now able to use DARO’s website to register online and they only need to travel to the DARO office for signatures. This allowed DARO to serve more clients faster.
Yirga, born in Shire Indesilase, Tigrai, has been leading the registration office for about 20 years, since it was under the Addis Ababa City Administration.
Yirga told Capital that the new head, Meressa Gebre Yohannes, director of the Lawyers’ License Administration at MoJ, has good experience and academic know how.
“He is new at this position , but I will support him until he becomes familiar with the office,” he said.
Yirga started his career from his home town in northern Ethiopia.