merit based appointments to public offices

merit based appointments to public offices

meri nating
meri nating

February 26th, 2008, 1:27 am #1

Why is the position of the Managing Director of the Mineral Resources Development Authority being readvertised again for the third time? Has there been any explanation put out publicly as to why they are seeking applications again for the third time? Maybe some candidates might throw some light on this?
While on that topic of merit based appoinment, some heads of departments and statutory bodies are under acting leadership for too long...well beyong six months. How does one reconcile this situation with the General Order where a person who acts beyond 6 months can asks to be confirmed to the position. Some input from HR bosses in the public service employment arena, could help throw some light here.
I read in todays paper that the supreme court challenge by John Kawi, a candidate for the Secretary and Attorney General position has concluded hearing and decision to be given in April. Would be interesting to know then what the supreme court will say.
The tussle in the office of head of National Planning and the clash of sepiks chiefs in the National Housing Commission and the 3rd time readvertising of the MRDC MD position, are just some indicators that makes me wonder if the Law on merit Based appoinments is judiciously being followed by the appointing authority? or are we still applying the wantok system and male chauvenist prejudices in giving jobs to the boys?

'meri nating'
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Brat
Brat

February 26th, 2008, 6:44 pm #2

Hello Meri Nating, yu trupla meri stret na stap wantaim yu long bel na tingting yu tromoi long hia. Tasol displa hevi yu toktok long em, em no nupla samting. Em stat na grow go kamap lapun na karim pikini na kolim tumbuna pinis. Bai mi tok olsem nau em gat 'genealogical ancestry' blong em yet. Long tok English bai mipla ken tok olsem em kamap 'culture' pinis. Bikpla samting em yumi mas traim long bungim tingting long how bai yumi sanap wantaim long daunim displa nupla kain "pasin tumbuna".

Let me share with you a personal experience. 2 years ago I was shortlisted as a candidate to head a small statutory organisation which is normally funded almost solely by the PNG Government. 5 of us who were considered: two of the candidates had PhDs (from a world renown university); one had a masters and one was completing his masters and the other had a bachelor's degree. We all brought with us a diversity of skill and experience that could have been useful to that organisation. We were all interviewed on the same day by a Board of Trustees which comprised of some senior PNGns and some other members who were appointed by the appropriate minister then.

After the interview, an election was taken amongst the 10 board members. It turned out that I was the most favoured candidate who picked up 7 out of the 10 votes. The remaining 3 votes were shared amongst the next 4 candidates who were in the race with me. I do not know how each of them featured in the election but a shortlist was then constructed by the Board Members. The list should then have been made available to the Minister of Public Service who, in consultation with the appropriate minister concern, takes up the issue of the appointment of Head of Department with the National Executive Council. But in this case, the Minister of Public Service was not consulted instead the appropriate minister then took charge of the matter. They strategically delayed a decision and took about 4 months before the issue of this appointment was brought into the NEC. The NEC overlooked the shortlist and appointed someone whom it thought at that time was the 'appropriate candidate', despite all the glaring reports that were published about that 'appropriate candidate' in the press some of which were emanating from investigations of the Public Accounts Committee of the National Parliament. All this happened when the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, was out of the country.

By the time the PM returned, little could be done about that appointment except through instituting a court action. No such step was considered and by the time the national elections came around in June 2007, the appointment was solidified when concerns for political solidarity became paramount within the ranks of the ruling National Alliance Party.

The organisation is currently being managed by that 'appointed candidate' and you could only guess what is going on there right now! A new minister is in charge of it and the appointee and the minister are not in a proper dialogue and word from the grape vine is that they are not even looking into each other's eyes. A court action is currently underway to invalidate the appointment and while this is going on, all kinds of alliances are being forged to secure and consolidate different kinds of interests within the organisation. A new job structure is being implemented within the organisation even while it is contrary to the advise of the Department of Personnel Management. Some officers within that organisation recently reported that they are now faced with the threat of losing their jobs because they are not in the good books of the 'appointed candidate'. There are other serious things happening there too which I should spare the details for the time being. The point of reciting all this is to highlight the current and growing inability of that organisation to secure and promote the moral and legislative responsibilities it has as a publicly funded organisation.

This story which I have narrated above also goes to highlight the way in which appointments of important governt organisations are sometimes based on political and or other personal interests which then compromise and ignore national interest. Then what becomes the privileged discourse is what the politicians say and do and not what the country needs and demands.

As for myself, I have decided to go on and do my own things in my chosen profession. I am hoping that more and more of young PNGns might begin to hate politics for what it is doing to our country and hopefully you could all learn to extricate yet be critically interested in the affairs of our great country. We need a generation of PNGns who are critical but not indulge themselves in the seductive indulgences of politics? Ultimately I think the question is how can we be politically engaged without being political?


Em tasol wanbel i stap na mi tromoi tasol, bai yupla yet ken holim holim na pilai pilai long em na yumi lukim.

Brat






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Able
Able

February 26th, 2008, 9:07 pm #3

Getting job is best if you know top brass and look good in the morning
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Brat
Brat

February 27th, 2008, 12:29 am #4

Able,

Thanks for your comments. Yes I do know the PM personally, my blood relatives work for him and some of his advisors are my close friends. I never wanted to use this set of personal connections to bring advantage to myself. I saw the job as labourious and demanding and which requires an appropriately qualified person with vision and acumen to push it on. I offered myself as a groom to be wedded to this professional career but as it often happens, politics came in between and since then I refuse to go into bed with politics.

Knowing the top brass works for some people, for me knowing the top brass is a privilege of history and personal relationships. It must not be converted into an object of instrumental action and self-seeking pursuit.

I believe I am saying something else here and this is the reason why I thought it paramount to share my own personal experiences in this Forum.

Brat
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meri nating
meri nating

February 27th, 2008, 2:07 pm #5

Hello Meri Nating, yu trupla meri stret na stap wantaim yu long bel na tingting yu tromoi long hia. Tasol displa hevi yu toktok long em, em no nupla samting. Em stat na grow go kamap lapun na karim pikini na kolim tumbuna pinis. Bai mi tok olsem nau em gat 'genealogical ancestry' blong em yet. Long tok English bai mipla ken tok olsem em kamap 'culture' pinis. Bikpla samting em yumi mas traim long bungim tingting long how bai yumi sanap wantaim long daunim displa nupla kain "pasin tumbuna".

Let me share with you a personal experience. 2 years ago I was shortlisted as a candidate to head a small statutory organisation which is normally funded almost solely by the PNG Government. 5 of us who were considered: two of the candidates had PhDs (from a world renown university); one had a masters and one was completing his masters and the other had a bachelor's degree. We all brought with us a diversity of skill and experience that could have been useful to that organisation. We were all interviewed on the same day by a Board of Trustees which comprised of some senior PNGns and some other members who were appointed by the appropriate minister then.

After the interview, an election was taken amongst the 10 board members. It turned out that I was the most favoured candidate who picked up 7 out of the 10 votes. The remaining 3 votes were shared amongst the next 4 candidates who were in the race with me. I do not know how each of them featured in the election but a shortlist was then constructed by the Board Members. The list should then have been made available to the Minister of Public Service who, in consultation with the appropriate minister concern, takes up the issue of the appointment of Head of Department with the National Executive Council. But in this case, the Minister of Public Service was not consulted instead the appropriate minister then took charge of the matter. They strategically delayed a decision and took about 4 months before the issue of this appointment was brought into the NEC. The NEC overlooked the shortlist and appointed someone whom it thought at that time was the 'appropriate candidate', despite all the glaring reports that were published about that 'appropriate candidate' in the press some of which were emanating from investigations of the Public Accounts Committee of the National Parliament. All this happened when the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, was out of the country.

By the time the PM returned, little could be done about that appointment except through instituting a court action. No such step was considered and by the time the national elections came around in June 2007, the appointment was solidified when concerns for political solidarity became paramount within the ranks of the ruling National Alliance Party.

The organisation is currently being managed by that 'appointed candidate' and you could only guess what is going on there right now! A new minister is in charge of it and the appointee and the minister are not in a proper dialogue and word from the grape vine is that they are not even looking into each other's eyes. A court action is currently underway to invalidate the appointment and while this is going on, all kinds of alliances are being forged to secure and consolidate different kinds of interests within the organisation. A new job structure is being implemented within the organisation even while it is contrary to the advise of the Department of Personnel Management. Some officers within that organisation recently reported that they are now faced with the threat of losing their jobs because they are not in the good books of the 'appointed candidate'. There are other serious things happening there too which I should spare the details for the time being. The point of reciting all this is to highlight the current and growing inability of that organisation to secure and promote the moral and legislative responsibilities it has as a publicly funded organisation.

This story which I have narrated above also goes to highlight the way in which appointments of important governt organisations are sometimes based on political and or other personal interests which then compromise and ignore national interest. Then what becomes the privileged discourse is what the politicians say and do and not what the country needs and demands.

As for myself, I have decided to go on and do my own things in my chosen profession. I am hoping that more and more of young PNGns might begin to hate politics for what it is doing to our country and hopefully you could all learn to extricate yet be critically interested in the affairs of our great country. We need a generation of PNGns who are critical but not indulge themselves in the seductive indulgences of politics? Ultimately I think the question is how can we be politically engaged without being political?


Em tasol wanbel i stap na mi tromoi tasol, bai yupla yet ken holim holim na pilai pilai long em na yumi lukim.

Brat





brat, laikim yu nating tru. mi giv up na nau mi stap outside long system. me resign. Am setting myself up as a private practitioner. talk to me on mointeikashell@yahoo.com
It's up to you young ones now. planti samting ino stret. I don't want to die being implicated by association to the fact that I was a public servant at the time certain decisions were made that has cost our people and our country.
plse get in touch via my email above.
'meri nating'
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me yet gen
me yet gen

February 27th, 2008, 3:06 pm #6

Brat, tenk yu tasol mi gat laik long pulim toktok moa yet ya
the merit based appointment law is good law, BUT to date the delay in appointments and the readvertising of jobs 2nd 3rd time round makes a mockery of this law. now which government or state agency can be activated to ensure that the executive arm of government complies with this law? as it is, only the private individual, at his/her own costs/expenses take the issue up to the Judiciary another independent arm of government to enforce compliance. this is why the appointing authority can sit on the appointment indefinitely and have their choice of candidate be appointed to "act" in the position, if the appointing authority does not agree with the short listed candidates.
I fail to reconcile with the fact that the General Orders of the public service says that one can only act in a position for no more than six months! If this General Order is to be strictly applied ( where is the pubic service commission or the Department of Personel Management) then those many acting CEO's and Departmental heads can demand that they be made permanent in the acting positions they are holding. if there are lawyers or HR bosses out there listenning in, they can throw some light on this very point.
I WAS SHORTLISTED ( one of three) for a Departmental Head but no decision was made to date (haha ha like even my gender was not good enough, not even for positive or affirmative discrimination per CEDAW covenantion..LOL.
Many of the candidates for the post have move on to other fields to earn their bread and butter to take care of their families. Likewise myself. What is nagging most of us is the fact that the Executive arm of government has eliminated those patriotic nationalists who loved best their service for the soverign state of png. No not the government of the day but that the government of the day must also respect the Constitution and the rule of law.
For over three years now the position is still being played by actors! excuse my choice of expression. Part of the reason was that one of the applicants challenged the public servise commission for not including his name in the short list that was submitted to the NEC. I belive he (John Kaw) is doing us the applicants and in the interst in the rule of law, a favour with this court challenge. I for one am happy that this colleague challenged the short list that the public service commission submitted to NEC.
I am no longer excited about the job but am very interested to know what the Supreme Court will say about the appointing processes for Departmental Heads and other public Office Holders. From reports in the daily newspapers, I understand that the Supreme Court decision on this matter will be handed down in April.
Bai mi wait na lukim.
Brat me toktok tumas, na ating plant bai guess faia long husaet em me. not that it will hurt me. me inap!
ol sampla brada susa PNG, yupla tok!
'meri nating'
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Anonymous
Anonymous

February 27th, 2008, 4:19 pm #7

Meri Nating,

as citizen of PNG, you have the obligations and democratic rights to raise questions on issues regarding the appointments in top-level government's positions.

as PNG citizen, i'm also very concern about the so call; political appointments in various governments departments and other statutories. its very sad to see that happening in PNG.

once the country's bureaucracy appointments are purely political than merit-base, this will cause another setback to see tangible developmental policies and planning of the country to achieve its medium or long term development initiatives.

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Brat
Brat

February 28th, 2008, 12:06 am #8

Brat, tenk yu tasol mi gat laik long pulim toktok moa yet ya
the merit based appointment law is good law, BUT to date the delay in appointments and the readvertising of jobs 2nd 3rd time round makes a mockery of this law. now which government or state agency can be activated to ensure that the executive arm of government complies with this law? as it is, only the private individual, at his/her own costs/expenses take the issue up to the Judiciary another independent arm of government to enforce compliance. this is why the appointing authority can sit on the appointment indefinitely and have their choice of candidate be appointed to "act" in the position, if the appointing authority does not agree with the short listed candidates.
I fail to reconcile with the fact that the General Orders of the public service says that one can only act in a position for no more than six months! If this General Order is to be strictly applied ( where is the pubic service commission or the Department of Personel Management) then those many acting CEO's and Departmental heads can demand that they be made permanent in the acting positions they are holding. if there are lawyers or HR bosses out there listenning in, they can throw some light on this very point.
I WAS SHORTLISTED ( one of three) for a Departmental Head but no decision was made to date (haha ha like even my gender was not good enough, not even for positive or affirmative discrimination per CEDAW covenantion..LOL.
Many of the candidates for the post have move on to other fields to earn their bread and butter to take care of their families. Likewise myself. What is nagging most of us is the fact that the Executive arm of government has eliminated those patriotic nationalists who loved best their service for the soverign state of png. No not the government of the day but that the government of the day must also respect the Constitution and the rule of law.
For over three years now the position is still being played by actors! excuse my choice of expression. Part of the reason was that one of the applicants challenged the public servise commission for not including his name in the short list that was submitted to the NEC. I belive he (John Kaw) is doing us the applicants and in the interst in the rule of law, a favour with this court challenge. I for one am happy that this colleague challenged the short list that the public service commission submitted to NEC.
I am no longer excited about the job but am very interested to know what the Supreme Court will say about the appointing processes for Departmental Heads and other public Office Holders. From reports in the daily newspapers, I understand that the Supreme Court decision on this matter will be handed down in April.
Bai mi wait na lukim.
Brat me toktok tumas, na ating plant bai guess faia long husaet em me. not that it will hurt me. me inap!
ol sampla brada susa PNG, yupla tok!
'meri nating'
Merit Nating,

Tenkyu long bekim toktok na sukurim tingting i go liklik moa. Bel na tingting blong yu em trupla tasol mi gat sampla hevi.

The idea of introducing a law to sanction merit based appointments seems like an attractive option because it seems provide the redemptive hope of delivering us from the endless oppression we suffer from political interference and discrimination.

I am however a bit sceptical not about the idea of a merit-based law to regulate appointments but more about the effectiveness of such a law. We turn to believe that if things dont work, it is because we dont have the necessary legal arrangements so we have proliferate a new set of legal mechanisms so that they could erase, eliminate and emancipitate us from an oppressive status quo. So we keep on making new laws without trying to make the new laws work for us. Laws are good and effective only if there are enforced, monitored and adjusted accorded to the prevailing circumstances of our times.

What we might need is an extra surveillance system that keeps track of the effectiveness of laws, the rewards and retributions they offer and of their ability to retain their legitimacy as laws of some significance. Such a system can be organised through aligning sister organisations and a team of appropriately qualified and concerned professionals to share information and synergies their efforts to make our laws effective. Isolation, departmental enclaves, empires only work to frustrate an effective enforcement of the moral and legislative aspirations of particular laws.

Em inap luk olsem bai mi pulim toktok tumas na bai sampla lain go boring long hia so mi lusim olsem. Bai mipla toktok moa sapos i gat lain laik sukurim tingting yet!

em mi tasol

Brat

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Brat
Brat

February 28th, 2008, 12:17 am #9

brat, laikim yu nating tru. mi giv up na nau mi stap outside long system. me resign. Am setting myself up as a private practitioner. talk to me on mointeikashell@yahoo.com
It's up to you young ones now. planti samting ino stret. I don't want to die being implicated by association to the fact that I was a public servant at the time certain decisions were made that has cost our people and our country.
plse get in touch via my email above.
'meri nating'
Meri nating, the email I sent you on the address you provide here bounced back at me. And this in complete resistance to the best of my intentions to have it deposited in your inbox. The message which accompanied the rebound was alarming:the report shows that yahoo doesnt remember you having an account with them....LOL... I thought this might be an amusing piece of report you might you want to know! LOL

In order to preserve a partial sense of anonymity here, why not you shoot me a line on this old address : am308@cam.ac.uk

Brat
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Anonymous
Anonymous

February 28th, 2008, 5:34 am #10

Educating discussion. This is sort of discussion we would like to read, but by so many other people as well, rather than Mr/Dr Brat and Ms MeriNatin. Very interesting to know what really is happening in appointment process. If the Politics of the Nation is rejecting the suitables (people with principles) we will be thrown around like football. So we do our own thing, create our own employment, educate our kids differently and spread good news that politics always divides. We need to build PNG like Italy. People there have ignored politics completely. Politicians have changed 00' times but hasn't or does not change the way people live.Their economy almost always is thriving, because Politics will never determine their destiny. Therefore let us not cry over that past, help yourself and lead the career where everybody else is not head ng to. I like the path which Ms Merinatin is taking. I think Mr Brat and more of him are needed in PNG, very thoguhtful people.
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