First and fore most Local Government employees just like any other Public Service employees are employed to serve the people of Zambia anywhere within the geographical boundary of the country.
Now, the word frequency becomes a relative term in this context. In order to appreciate transfers in the Local Government Service, we need to look at historical perspective of the Local Authorities. Previously, Local Authorities had separate system meaning each Local Authority appointed, developed and managed its own staff according to its capacity. Staff were not transferable from one Council to another but had to resign in order to move to another Council, in the process breaking years of service.
Currently, we have unified Local Government service system where a central body such as LGSC has be given power to employ staff in all 116 Local Authorities. LGSC has to ensure that all LAs have adequate human resource irrespective of the locality.
REASONS FOR STAFF MOVEMENTS (TRANSFERS)
1. Re-alignment of staff: Transfers are sometimes effected on account of re-alignment of staff in order to ensure efficient and effective functioning of Local Authorities.
2. Creation of new Districts/Local Authorities: Between 2016 and 2018 the number of Local Authorities increased from 103 to the current 116. In order to operationalize the new Local Authorities an average of 40 staff per Council was required which translated into a total of 520 officers at the barest minimum for the 13 newly created Local Authority. The Commission therefore, had to identify experienced serving officers to be transferred to the new established Councils to provide guidance new entrants.
3. Overstaying at one Local Authority: Employees who overstay at one Local Authority become familiar and consequently complacent and unproductive. In order to stop being too familiar and unproductive, the Commission does transfer such officers to other Local Authorities.
4. Career Progress: where promotional positions are not available at a particular Council, the Commission, as a way of motivating its employees who acquire higher qualifications, does promote and transfer such employees to other Local Authorities where vacancies exist.
5. Medical Grounds: Sometimes employees are transferred at the instigation of the physical in order for such officers to be near and have access to medical services from secondary and tertiary medical facilities. This is meant to preserve lives of employees with unique and serious medical conditions that requires specialized treatment.
6. Equitable distribution of skilled and qualified: In order to ensure equitable distribution pf staff from areas of surplus to deficit areas which usually are rural and remote Councils, the Commission does conduct transfers in that regard.
7. Workers safety/ Welfare: In instance where the work environment becomes hostile and unconducive for employees, and in order to safeguard the lives of its employees, the Commission effects transfers of such employees to other Local Authorities.
8. Request by employees: The Commission does also sanction transfer of employees who agree to swap on recommendation by their respective Principal Officers.
9. Other transfers are due to the exigencies of service and in national interests.
The Commission always ensures that the transfers are balanced and that they are effected to be benefits of both the sending and receiving Local Authority. In this regard, each department of Local Authority is left with some experienced officers who have been at the station for a considerable period time to guarantee institutional memory.