THE Sogavare led government has extended the contracts of the 24 permanent secretaries until March this year, insiders have revealed.
Their contracts should have lapsed on 31 December 32014.
However, insiders said the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) wanted to extend their contracts to allow its preferred choices of PSs to familiarise themselves with new government policies before any change overs.
“The government did not want to replace the old PSs with new ones now because they will take time to familiarise with the job,” an insider said.
“As such the government wants to maintain the current PSs to allow the new ones to learn from them,” he added.
However, he said the government will advertise the posts of the political appointees in the Prime Minister Officer through the Public Service Commission (PSC).
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare earlier said political jobs in the Prime Minister’s Private and Political Office will be given only to the right people.
He made the statement following concerns raised in the media that political appointments have not only been costly to the taxpayers, but have been irritants because they have been awarded with lucrative packages.
Mr Sogavare said his Democratic Coalition for Change Government will ensure right people are engaged as political appointees.
He said political appointees are the engines to drive governments to achieve policies and deliver election promises.
But he said if they are only to push papers around, then they should not be engaged at all.
In 2005, the Prime Minister’s Private and Political Office was created to engage temporary workers to drive policies, give expert advice on issues of importance to the Prime Minister – thus his government and the country and more importantly to offer ears and eyes to the Prime Minister to guide his leadership.
Other important considerations were he (PM) governed in an accountable and transparent manner.
It was discovered then that public servants were not to be given tasks that were political in nature – thus the need to engage political supporters.
By EDDIE OSIFELO