LEADER of Opposition Hon Matthew Wale says permanent secretaries (PS’s) from ministries linked to the OAG COVID-19 Audit Reports should not be reappointed.
Hon Wale in a statement today said the reappointment of the PS’s has raised a lot of eyebrows following the recent release of serious financial mismanagement of COVID 19 funds by the Ministry of Infrastructure & Development (MID), the Ministry of Health & Medical Services (MHMS) and the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).
The Opposition Leader said the recruitment process should have considered the OAG findings, unless performance was not a consideration or that there was political interference in the process.
“Who will be held accountable for the OAG findings? Should it not be the incumbent PS’s? Hon Wale questioned.
Hon Wale said the PS’s reappointment would be a conflict of interest if there should be an investigation in their respective ministries.
“I find it hard to make sense of the fact that in light of the OAG reports the Government see it fit in reappointing them. To make it worse, no further investigation was carried out to date following the millions of dollars seemingly mismanaged in the report,” he said.
Hon Wale said his office is also aware that there are instances that PS’s including Financial Controllers (FC’s) within the ministries have pleaded with the responsible ministers to keep them at the ministry instead of being posted out.
“A good example is the MID where the PS and FC have reportedly used the minister to write a letter to the public service commission to reinstate them although the commission had already made a decision for them to be posted out. These are the kinds of practice that should never be allowed to happen in the government recruitment process,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader has reiterated his call for the Police Commissioner to initiate investigations into the OAG findings immediately.
Hon Wale said the police commissioner should not wait for anyone to raise a complaint or report before initiating investigations.
“This is a matter of public interest that amounts to serious financial mismanagement. The police commissioner under his jurisdiction has the authority to carry out an external investigation on the OAG reports,” he said.
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