Public Sector Wage Bill compares favourably with similar countries: Myanmar-WB joint report

Participants pose for the documentary photo at the launching ceremony of Myanmar Pay, Compensation and Human Resource Management Review in Nay Pyi Taw on 2 April. Photo: GNLM
Participants pose for the documentary photo at the launching ceremony of Myanmar Pay, Compensation and Human Resource Management Review in Nay Pyi Taw on 2 April. Photo: GNLM

The size of Myanmar’s public sector wage bill compares favourably with lower middle income countries, according to a report released yesterday. The Myanmar Pay, Compensation and Human Resource Management Review was jointly conducted by the Government of Myanmar and the World Bank.
The review, supported by Denmark, Australia and UK-DFID, under the Myanmar Multi Donor Trust Fund, presents a comprehensive picture of the Myanmar civil service pay, compensation and human resource management systems, and their strengths and challenges.
”Myanmar is in a good place on the public sector wage bill, and there are opportunities to ensure compensation levels remain attractive and sustainable,” said Shabih Ali Mohib, programme leader at the World Bank. “However, it is important to manage it prudently to ensure fiscal sustainability and to incentivise performance in the public sector.”
The report also recommends developing better forecasting systems that take into account the trade-offs of higher pay versus more staff, and targeted compensation increases versus across-the-board adjustments; developing a centralised electronic payroll with possible linkages to financial management and human resource information systems; regularly monitoring the government’s ability to recruit, retain and deploy skilled personnel; and updating the rates of operational expenses to enable staff to do their jobs.
“It is only the first step on the long journey of evidence-based reforms to manage the wage bill and the performance of the Myanmar civil service,” said U Tun Tun Naing, Myanmar’s Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Planning and Finance.
“This is the most thorough review of Myanmar’s civil service so far,” said Peter Lysholt Hansen, Denmark’s Ambassador to Myanmar. “I encourage the World Bank to play an active role in supporting the Government of Myanmar to translate the recommendations into reality.”
The review was undertaken from 2015 to 2017, in response to the Government of Myanmar’s request for the World Bank’s advice on compensation and human resource policies that reflect country-specific circumstances.—GNLM

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