Government Minister Kye Rymer and Opposition legislator Julian Fraser have bemoaned the plight of many civil servants who have been acting in several top roles for many years without being officially appointed.
Speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, both legislators said this is unfair to the civil servants, some of whom have held acting roles for more than a decade.
“I have a member in my ministry who has been acting for 14 years. Those are things that aren’t right. I don’t know how they do it. Getting up, getting dressed and not being sure if today they might say, ‘you are reverted to your position’. After carrying out the duties, the performance appraisals give you high marks. But when it comes to appointment, there seems to be a hindrance,” Rymer explained.
Minister Rymer said one way to shorten the ‘acting’ tenures is to remove persons in acting roles who don’t meet performance standards.
“If they’re not doing their jobs within the first couple years then I think at that stage they should try someone else so the acting process can be shortened,” Rymer said. He added that he will consult the Deputy Governor’s Office to discuss these longstanding ‘acting’ roles within the government.
Accountant General acting for 6 years
Rymer shared those sentiments after Fraser told the story a Laurel Smith who currently acts as the Accountant General at the Treasury Department.
Fraser said this civil servant is qualified, skilled, and has been performing diligently but still hasn’t been officially appointed as the Accountant General.
“Acting in that position for six years? You have this young lady in the Treasury just knocking about … She deserves better! Here’s my position on this: It has everything to do with who you are in this place and I am determined to see this stop,” Fraser argued.
“When you’re going to tell me that she isn’t ready after six years running the treasury. What are you telling me? Who’s ready? Who do you have earmarked for this position? I’ve seen people in this territory get positions even before they were confirmed to the post. We all need to commit ourselves to see to the eradication of such behaviours in this territory,” Fraser further said.
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