Dear Editor,

The issue with the appointment of the Parliamentary Secretaries is not their legality. That has been resolved by the courts of justice.

Nor is it the performance appraisal of individual PS’s. What a ruse to read that in the paper DP Issue 5727. For sure many of the current PS’s performed their duties to the best of their abilities according to their qualifications and Terms of Reference.

From our perspective, however, the major concern is the huge budget allocated under these PS’s to employ “advisors” and utilize public funds without any performance appraisal or accountability for those positions. The implied correlation between Motions of No Confidence and appointments of PS remains to be proven. However, the fact remains that PS’s have a total annual budget that would put many existing essential governments institutions to shame, including our provincial hospitals, schools and police headquarters. The appointment of a PS and subsequently, their horde of “advisors”; seems to mirror the age-old corrupt practise of using public funds to pay for political clout.

So often it results in so many advisors, so little progress. Those employed under such politicized schemes are not to be considered to be serving the public good. While real public servants suffer long hours, unsafe working conditions, poor welfare benefits, physical and mental burnout, HR inconsistencies and political interference in our workplaces, these political appointees are doing nothing to justify their positions and huge salaries.

The Salwai government must end this unproductive use of public funds.

Stop corrupting the commitment of over 4,000 public servants and the services they deliver, under sometimes austere conditions, with these political maneuverings and corrupt approaches for the sake of stability.

Public service is a government responsibility. Not a privilege. Not a bargaining tool and definitely not for the faint-hearted.

We are not fools. We see the corruption “long klia delaet” and we will not be quiet any longer.

In solidarity,

Vanuatu Association of Public Service Employees (VAPSE)

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