Dear editor,

I am particularly concerned and irritated over what I heard about the practices and strategies employed by so called “consultants” operating in government Ministries in the Republic of Vanuatu. Government leaders may not have realised this but in some ministries, these so-called consultants are more or less running the ministries in the name of Director Generals and Directors. They are a very good “sweet talker” or they talk to seniorities in a very pleasing way in order to persuade them to do or believe in what they have to say, which may not all be true. In almost every sentence you hear the word “I” before a positive verb.

It irritates me to hear some have written their own contracts and renewal contracts when the first was due, and convinced the DGs to simply sign for it. Some people have observed that, once contracted, these contractors/consultants continue to create avenues and opportunities for themselves to stay longer by expanding their responsibilities to cover areas that can be easily done by existing officers who are already paid to do the job. In some cases they belittled officers and make them look like they can’t do it, and no one else can except them.

This practice was and is experienced at a number of Government Ministries, I am told.

There are cases where consultants are believed to have overstepped their line of duties by actually managing CSUs, performing roles of existing positions, and writing letters to PSC to suggest dismissal of permanent employees. I have also come to learn that invoices billed for payment by a particular so called consultant was in fact to do with jobs he/she has directed existing officers to do, using executive powers in the name of DG, and director. I am told that by doing so, they by-passed communication channels and stepped on the toes of directors and heads of divisions.

They were executing DG’s role, as well as the executive secretary’s, EO and Human Resources role. If this is true, then it has gone too far.

Perhaps, these kinds of people with assured and ingratiating manners care too much about issues that they go beyond their control and outside their responsibilities. ….....and that also led them to “over stepping the line.”

I therefore call on the Prime Minister, Ministers and PSC Chairman to intervene immediately and stop this nonsense.

Manual Berry (Erakor Haf Rod)

Frustrated ni-Vanuatu in private sector

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