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The Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (FEACC), established nearly 15 years ago, is said to be suffering from a lack of competent experts as an increasing number of employees quit their jobs.
Sources told Capital that when the commission was formed, attractive salary and benefit packages drew employees to join the fight against corruption, which is considered to be a major obstacle to the country’s development.
“The sector is highly sensitive and employees have a number of responsibilities, but the current compensation system does not attract employees. As such, an increasing number of capable employees are quitting their work at the commission,” sources said.
In the past fiscal year, it has been reported that the commission hired about 50 new employees, while a similar number of employees left the office in the same period. The commission reportedly hired new officers recently, although some of the new employees quit within few weeks.
The issue was raised at the commission’s latest staff meeting.
Employees claimed that the special status accorded to their salaries in previous years has been relinquished. “We are now on a lower pay scale compared to other government organizations,” some of the employees complained during the meeting.
In response, FEACC commissioner Ali Suleiman explained that his commission has already submitted a proposal for an amended salary scale to the prime minister’s office, which oversees the commission.
“I hope the government will use its authority to implement the salary adjustments,” he noted.
Birhanu Assefa, Education and Public Relations Director of FEACC, told Capital that the commission has informed the prime minister’s office and the parliament about the issue.
Unfair benefit distributions have also allegedly prompted some experts to leave the commission.
Sources told Capital that investigators and prosecutors at the commission are offered preferential treatment over their coworkers. Housing, transportation and healthcare packages are among the benefits extended to a limited number of professionals. “This has created significant tension between employees,” sources explained.
The responsibilities and duties of the commission have increased since the parliament amended a proclamation this year, allowing the commission to investigate corruption cases in the private sector and endowments.
Consistent with its new responsibilities, the commission is expected to expand its staff, having been granted a budget-increase to hire new employees. The FEACC has also planned to open an office focusing exclusively on corruption in the capital city.