Public report on the improper appointments and promotions of health workers in November 1995 – April 17, 1998 - Emalus Campus
On October 30, 1995 the Director of Health Mr. Yves Niowenmal sent a letter of request to the Public Service Commission to have 193 daily-rated and temporary health staff appointed as permanent employees and, to have 44 permanent staff promoted with their salaries re-graded to a higher level. The request was approved by the Public Service Commission (Mr. Mael, Mr. Andeng, Mr. Lulu and Mr. Basil).
The request and the approval were contrary to required procedures in a number of respects. Vacancies were not identified, the Public Service did not approve vacancies, there was no advertisement for the positions, and the eligibility of the candidates was not checked. There was no budgetary provision for the cost of these personnel changes, despite the representation of Mr. Niowenmal to the Public Service Commission to the contrary. The Public Service Commission did not produce any documentation as evidence of their consideration of Mr. Niownenmal’s request other than a handwritten endorsement on Mr. Niowenmal’s letter.
The acting Director of the Public Service Department failed to direct the Public Service Commission not to approve the promotions as he should have. The conduct of the members of the Public Service Commission in failing to carry out their duties properly amounted to a breach of the Leadership Code. There was a suggestion that their actions and those of Mr. Niowenmal were motivated by political considerations in advance of a National election.
· That the Public Service Commission revoke the improper promotions.
· That the Public Service Commission, the Public Service Department and the Department of Health initiate proper procedures for the promotions of health workers.
· That information and training respecting recruitment and promotion be dispensed to relevant individuals in the Public Service.
· That Mr. Niowenmal not be appointed again to the position of acting Director of Public service.
· That the members of the Public Service Commission involved in this matter resign and not be re-appointed.
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