Claims of politicizing AG’s appointment misleading

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Claims in the Island Sun Newspaper on July 29 assuming the Government is politically delaying the appointment of the new Auditor General is misleading.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Nego Sisiolo explained that the endorsed candidate is the most suitable and highly qualified person for the position and relevant Ministries are seeking additional funding to meet the incoming Auditor General’s salary and other remunerations.

The need for a remunerations additional budget came about because the endorsed applicant negotiated with SIG-OAG, MPS, MoFT and OPMC a counter package up to a level that commensurate his qualifications, experience and skills. The SIG parties deliberated on the candidate’s counter offer in light of the following factors:

  • The position of the Auditor General is a highly technical profession that has rigorous qualification criteria on its own. Hence, the profession can be equated to professionals in the legal and medical sectors;
  • The endorsed candidate has a wealth of experience in this field and a qualified local chartered public accountant;
  • The endorsed candidate is the only applicant that applied for the post and therefore SIG as the employer do not want to drop him;
  • The endorsed candidate may lose its personal business activities/interest once appointed to the said post.

Consequently, the SIG parties decided to take-on the counter offer by the candidate by collaborating to locate payroll savings that can be reallocated for the AG emolument, which has now been identified.

In the process, the Ministry of Public Service also collaborated with the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to provide a Business Case (BC) as justification for supplementation to existing terms and condition. The Business Case is essentially to use to brief the Prime Minister who has power to decide on the terms and conditions for constitutional offices.

On Tues 27 July 2021, the Deputy Auditor General (DAG) briefed the acting Secretary to Cabinet on the business case that provides the rationale for the supplementation to existing terms and conditions. It is expected that the Secretary to Cabinet will advise the Prime Minister for his decision soon.

Subject to the Hon PM’s decision on the supplementation requested, the next immediate course of action will be to collaborate with OPMC to draw-up a service contract for signing before the Governor General appoints the endorsed candidate.

“I therefore would like to clarify that from SIG-MPS perspective, the delay is nothing to do with politics,” Mr Sisiolo said.

On the contrary, the delay is to do with time needed for the Ministry of Public Service to negotiate and collaborate with other SIG ministries and offices to build a good case for government’s consideration and secure the supplementation budget to meet the counter-offer package negotiated and requested by the endorsed applicant.

-GCU Press

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