Biteko: Observe qualifications, standards

MWANZA: THE government instructed employers on Thursday to ensure that the duties assigned to personal secretaries align with their qualifications and job description standards.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy, Doto Biteko, issued the directives during the opening session of the 11th professional conference of secretaries held in Mwanza.

He said the government has been improving working environments and setting standards for public workers. The career structure for personal secretaries came into effect on July 1, 2023.

The conference, organised by the Tanzania Personal Secretaries Association (TAPSEA), aims to build and enhance the capacity and skills of over 5,000 office executive secretaries from mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.

“If some employers do not assign office secretaries duties that align with their professions as intended, and instead assign them tasks unrelated to their qualifications, it is not right. The President’s intention is to see an improvement in this career structure, moving from theory on paper to practical,” said Dr Biteko.

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The Deputy Premier stated that the government will always prioritise addressing office secretaries’ grievances due to their importance and contribution to the public service.

Regarding technological advancements and globalisation, he encouraged TAPSEA to continue promoting the continuous development of its members in the use of the latest technology and information communication to keep up with global changes in ICT and improve their work efficiency.

“The current system relies on digital computer tools, which collectively facilitate your work. Your role as office executive secretaries is to excel in your field and understand that these tools are your primary working instruments. It is important that you understand their proper utilisation,” he said.

Dr Biteko also urged secretaries to provide excellent service by delivering positive communication to Tanzanians who visit their offices seeking assistance. On his part, Minister of State in the President’s Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance), George Simbachawene, said the government is doing everything in its power to address challenges faced by public servants, including personal secretaries.

He highlighted that one of the efforts is updating the career structure, which has been in effect since July 1, 2023.

“Under the new structure, secretaries are no longer perceived for secretarial roles but instead serve as office assistants to leaders,” said Mr Simbachawene.

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He added that in line with such changes, the government continues to address the shortage of personnel in the field. In the 2022/2023 financial year, the government announced 414 job vacancies, and a total of 724 new job positions have been approved for the 2024/2025 fiscal year.

He also mentioned that 864 personal secretaries have been promoted and granted new salary scales as of June 2023. TAPSEA Chairperson, Ms Zuhura Maganga, commended the government for improving workers’ welfare and showing commitment to addressing their challenges.

Moreover, she encouraged office secretaries to demonstrate diligence, integrity and creativity in their work for the development of the nation.

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