OPMC helped calculate salary and other increases for MPs in 2023
THE Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet [OPMC] appears to be the instigator of new salaries and entitlements for Members of Parliament in 2023, documents have revealed.
And the documents showed the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission (PEC) and the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet began working together on the proposal five months ago.
No reason was given why MPs should be given the raise especially at a time when ordinary workers are struggling to survive. The proposed increases reflect a 9.7 per cent hike across the board, based on the Chief Justice’s current entitlements, according to the PEC.
There were email exchanges on the matter initially between Derek Vagi, the PEC Secretary and a Malcolm Foufaka, an accountant in the Prime Minister’s Office, the documents show.
Lyall Patovaki of the Payroll Section of Treasury later joined in the email exchanges.
The initial email on the matter, dated 23rd August last year, was by Mr. Foufaka of the PMC. It was addressed to PEC Secretary Vagi.
It is apparent the PMC was seeking advice from Treasury on how to calculate the proposed increases in terms of percentage. Mr Patovaki provided the advice in his email also on 23rd August last year. He sent the email around 4.08pm that afternoon.
A little over half an hour later, Mr Foufaka forwarded the advisory to Mr Vagi, the PEC Secretary. In his email addressed to Mr Foufaka, Patovaki said:
“Hi Malcolm. Please find attach(ed) excel rough calculation on how to find the increase difference in terms of percentage. Follow the steps below:
- Current base salary ($11,843.05) minus increase amount ($13,000.01) = $1, 156.95 (or vice versa);
- Divide by current base salary amount ($11,843.05); and,
- Multiply by 100 per cent.
The increase percentage is 9.769021or if we round it off it would be 10 per cent increase, Mr. Patovaki said in the email.
“So. If we take for example PM’s increase it would look something like this $11,843.05 x 26 pp =$307,919.30 annual salary x 9. 769021= $338,000.01 new salary increase of 9. 769021or 10 per cent rounding off.”
Mr Patovaki signed off on his email with the words, “Hao hem luk stret too?? Checkm gut.”
Solomon Star sought comments from Mr. Vagi but received no response from its email query.
We also emailed the Secretary to the Prime Minister, SPM Jimmy Rodgers, Press Secretary Leni Dalavera and Director of Communications, George Herming on whether PEC as a body is active.
No response was received from any of them when we go to print last night.
By Alfred Sasako