The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat is undergoing a major organizational restructure under the leadership of its new Director-General, Mr Amena Yauvoli as part of measures to address its precarious financial situation and ensure efficiency in carrying its mandates.
Mr Yauvoli a former Fiji diplomat took helm of the organization after his appointment his appointment by the MSG Chair, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare, was endorsed by the MSG Senior Officials Meeting and Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Nadi, Fiji, from the 14th to the 16 of June 2016.
Mr Yauvoli told the Prime Minister yesterday when briefing him on MSG issues ahead of the MSG Leaders’ Summit later this week thatthrough the ‘revamping exercise’, the MSG Secretariat is expected to reduce its total staff costing from VUV183.1 Million to around VUV 174 Million. The revamping exercise will be progressively implemented over 2016 and 2017.
Mr Yauvoli said he has also proposed a number of other remedial measures to accompany the revamping exercise to better improve the efficiency and operations of the Secretariat and they were tabled and approved by the MSG SOM and FMM last month.
The measures are as follows:
· Revamping the organogram and improving work processes;
· Reprioritisation of work programme;
· Salary review adjustment;
· Severance payment;
· Review of travel policy;
· Review of Asset Management and Disposal;
· Resource Mobilisation; and
· Closure of Melanesian Solution.
As to addressing the main cause of the MSG Secretariat’s precarious financial situation-outstanding membership contributions, Director General Yauvoli said the secretariat is doing a follow up on all membership contribution dues.
He said added that in light of the understandable situation of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) in not paying up its outstanding membership contributions, the MSG Secretariat in guidance by the Lautoka meeting is moving in the direction of removing FLNKS from the budget formulae of 70:30 distribution of membership contributions and have the four MSG member states pick this up instead in 2017. The MSG member states are Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
Mr Yauvoli said immediate efforts by the MSG member states to bail out the secretariat from its precarious financial situation will be duly acknowledged, adding that a first step as agreed to in Lautoka is the clearance of its VUV60 Million overdraft with the National Bank of Vanuatu whilst the balance of VUV115 Million will be dealt with by members in the second phase.
The MSG Director-General also took the opportunity to thank the MSG Chair for what he described as ‘sterling leadership’ over the MSG.
“I and the staff members of the MSG Secretariat pay homage to you for your wise and firm leadership of the MSG, dealing with the plethora of challenging issues we are currently facing.
“We are firmly committed to your vision to enhance the standing and visibility of the MSG in regional and international political affairs and we are fully behind you in ensuring that the secretariat at its best of abilities with supported capacities and given financial resources.”
Responding to the MSG Secretariat Director-General, the MSG Chair thanked him for updating him about the organization and what he has done in redirecting it upon taking office.
He expressed great admiration for the bold decisions taken by Mr Yauvoli to address the precarious financial situation of the secretariat.
The MSG Chair said he is certain that with the type of leadership displayed by Mr Yauvoli, the MSG Secretariat will live up to the expectations of the MSG Leaders.
Also present at the briefing were the Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr Joseph Waleanisia, Legal Adviser to the MSG Secretariat, Mr Ilan Kiloe and Secretary to the MSG Chair, Mr Rence Sore.