Arua district has been operating for close to three years without substantively appointed staff in seven critical departments. Arua district LC5 chairperson Alfred Okuonzi says the staffing gaps at the district is majorly because of the absence of a functional district service commission for the past two years. “Well one of the first things I put my hands when I took office was that council should appoint and approve members for the district statutory bodies including the district service commission. We sent their names to the public service commission but it hit a snag because the members were not picked in accordance with the set guidelines by the commission because the public service commission requires that one member of the district service commission should be a person with disability and another a representative of the woman in the commission. So we really didn’t meet that criteria”, he said. The district urgently requires staff in seven critical positions including heads of department in health and engineering. Okuonzi says the critical shortage of staff has affected the delivery of services. “We are fast-tracking the recruitment of staff in the critical areas where attention is urgently needed. We are hopeful that this time, the names will be approved because this is having a bearing on service delivery in the district”, he said. Arua district chief accounting officer Jude Bukenya says the major issue they hope to address in order to effect recruitment is finding wage for the staff. “The district had no wage by the time I assumed office. But I have written both ministries of finance and public service for a supplementary budget for wage and we are waiting for a feedback. But we also have a problem because we have failed to attract the right people after advertising these positions twice especially for district health officer and the district engineer”, he said. The residual Arua district is currently operating with a low staffing level with some officers heading key departments in acting positions mainly due to delayed recruitment of substantive technical staff and this has been aggravated by the secondment of several staff to the newly created administrative units of Arua city, Terego and Madi Okollo districts.