The challenges of personnel recruitment in the Local government under the Decentralization System: A case study of Gulu District
In most countries where decentralization has been tried, it is seen as a way of improving the efficiency of planning, management and service delivery in the public sector. The potential benefits of decentralization may be reduced or even disappear if effective systems of Human Resource Management (HRM) are not in place especially in the management of entry and stay of personnel in the Civil Service. This study explored the challenges of personnel recruitment in the local government Civil Service under the decentralization programme in Uganda. The objectives of the study were to; establish whether local governments understood the objectives and principles of the decentralization policy; to determine and explain the impact of personnel decentralization on recruitment and HRM in local governments and to establish whether members of the District Service Commission (DSC) and the Executives understand and uphold the principle of merit in personnel recruitment. The study employed a descriptive study design using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Data analysis focused on answering the following questions; how can local governments create and sustain a national, multi-ethnic, Civil Service based on merit under the decentralization system in Uganda? The study revealed that: people in the local governments now understand decentralization as a concept and its objectives contrary to what many studies have shown namely that employees in local governments do not know what the concept means. However, it was established that the principle of merit in personnel recruitment is not clearly understood and upheld. As such recruitment is based on the „sons and daughters of the soil‟ as many people think that personnel decentralization is all about indigenous recruitment. The study concluded that many challenges still stand in the process of recruiting human resources in a manner that is not biased towards tribal and sectarian tendencies. As such, the impact of personnel decentralization on recruitment and HRM in local governments remains ambiguous to many people. The government seems to have played a passive role in educating people about the concept of personnel decentralization. Therefore, sensitization needs to be promoted at all levels concerning the national purpose of personnel decentralization in particular and decentralization programme as a whole.