Public Report on the discriminatory recruitment procedures by the Public Service Commission concerning positions in the forestry department - July 9, 1997 - Emalus Campus
Mr. Y was hired as a casual employee in the Forestry department where he acted as an assistant accountant. He applied for a permanent position as an accountant and was unsuccessful. This triggered the complaint which lead to the Ombudsman’s inquiry.
The inquiry revealed that Mr. Y was not properly hired for the casual position in the forestry department in the first place as it was in breach of the procedures set out in the Public Service Manual. When Mr. Y applied for the permanent position of accountant, he was appointed as a storeman, a position for which he had not applied. He was appointed to this position because he was male and the position required physical labour. Mr. Y, however continued to perform accounting duties.
Mrs. B was hired for the position of accountant which Mr. Y. had been unsuccessful in obtaining. Mrs. B was not the best candidate for the post but was hired on political grounds. Further, she was hired as an “assistant accountant” a designation which did not exist. There was no budget established for the position.
The most suited candidate for the position of accountant was Mr. X. He was not hired.
The Public Service Commission did not follow correct procedures in hiring Mrs. B for the position of accountant. It did not view applications for the post but relied upon the advice of one of the directors. The position for which Mrs. B was hired did not exist, it was not advertised, she was not hired on merit and there was no established budget for the post. The commissioners of the Public Service and Mr. Lesines, Former Deputy Director of the Public Service Department breached the Leadership Code by reason of their incompetence, negligence and the appointment of Mrs. B on the basis of political favouritism.
· That the Public Service Commission be reconstituted in order to strengthen its independence.
· That the laws and procedures relating to appointment in the Public Service be observed.
· That all public service appointments from 1991 to 1995 be reviewed.
· That Heads of Departments be advised about the rules and procedures relating to public service hiring and that these be made more accessible.
Written by Edward R. Hill
UNDP Governance and Accountability Project
© Ombudsman of Vanuatu
Published here by University of the South Pacific, School of Law Web Site - www.vanuatu.usp.ac.fj