SLRTA on the brink of collapse
Heads of institutions normally employ various management techniques that they deem necessary to meet set objective targets, opting to employ a particular management style depending on the depth of knowledge and experience of the heads of these institutions had acquired in managing people and finances. Management theories were essentially developed based on set assumptions that could be utilized with utmost consideration and caution.
In view of the foregoing, McGregor’s theory ‘x’ and ‘y’ in my opinion is a kingpin around which the various management styles were coined for ease of reference, theory ‘x’ sees man as a lazy being and therefore should be ‘coercede’ whilst theory ‘y’ sees man as liking work which is as natural as play/rest” in real life, a blend of the two theories is more likely to provide the best prescription for effective management.
A couple of chief executives in superintending their institutions had totally misconstrued the interpretation of these theories. It is therefore expedient that the competencies of chief executives should be evaluated by their governing bodies which in many cases are the board of directors against set objectives. The introduction of the Performance Tracking Table (PTT) by the government of His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has laid the yard stick for such assessments.
One such institution which needs to be diagnosed is the SLRTA headed by Dr. Sarah F. Bendu (in photo). In 2013 the SLRTA was rated as the third best performing institution whilst in 2014, it was rated as the seventh down the ladder. The reason for her abysmal failure disclosed by inside sources borders on the autocratic management style employed by her in the discharge of her duties as enshrined in Section 13 of the SLRTA Act No. 4 of 1996 which established authority.
This press was intimated that 90% of SLRTA employees continue to dwell in perpetual fear. No doubt set objectives could hardly be met. You will agree with me that the human resources of organizations are the most valued assets. When treated with contempt, it could not give off its best. The Executive Director on resumption of duty in November 2011 after being exonerated by the Courts for alleged mis-procurement of two towing vehicles submitted a report hinging
On the ‘Key occurrences in the SLRTA in the absence of the acting executive director, the current Executive Director asserted that no effort was made to recover the amount of one billion, two hundred thousand Leones (Le 1,200,000,000) that the high court of justice ordered the first accused Mr. Hamza Sesay to pay SLRTA in the case she won against the Anti Corruption Commission even though the board had earlier sought advice from its legal adviser and addressed letters to officers associated with the matter.
The money referred to has still not been paid, but is no longer an issue because she is associated with the matter.
The Executive Director also accused her predecessor of transferring traffic wardens and other staff to areas in Sierra Leone where RTA had no presence, where they could be highly demotivated to work. This could not be substantiated as deployment made during her absence had still not been reversed because they are yielding dividends. Contrary to her allegation, professionals have been transferred to positions that are not in the organogram. A Director Mr. M. L. Deen was transferred to Kono to oversee the operations of the Eastern Region and is resident in Kono and not in Kenema. This action is in contravention with Section 14 Sub Section 2 of the SLRTA Act No 4 of 1996.
Deprivation of leave allowance was another issue, since her resumption of duty, a couple of staff have neither proceeded on their annual vacation leave nor paid their leave allowances why the double standard?
It was also alleged that some staff who were trained by her husband at Fourah Bay College were dismissed but were saved through the intervention of the Ombudsman. Again the recruitment of the said staff were only regularized even though she claimed that the Heads of Departments thought that they were employed to replace them. What is behind the Executive Director’s autocratic decision to dismiss the three senior officers even though the office of the Attorney General and Minister of justice decleared the decision a nullity.
Deprivation of key staff benefits and appointment to positions after returning from oversees training. Again the Executive Director has employed young graduates and placed them in higher positions demotivating staff with the experience and longer service.
Employees who requested for study leave with pay were denied even though the 2011 conditions of service makes provision for such undertakings. Sources alleged that the Executive Director has on her scale of preference the pursuance of road safety where she could easily make fortune.
Some staff benefits have been withheld like late Kanneh who died in 2012 and late Patrick Koroma by Dr. Sarah F. Bendu. Benefit of the late Traffic Warden Alie Kamara was paid in piece – meal.
Is Dr. Sarah F. Bendu a Sacred Cow?
To be continued next edition.
Editor’s Note: This is an investigation conducted by the Managing Editor of this paper.
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