Committee request Tribunal to review salaries

The Parliamentary Finance and Expenditure Committee has put in a request to the Public Service Remuneration Tribunal to review the salaries of Members of Parliament.

This is according to a report compiled by the Parliamentary Finance and Expenditure Committee for the 2018-2019 Supplementary Budget.

“The Committee also raised its concerns for the Tribunal to review the salary comparison of Members of Parliament compared to other jurisdiction of the Commonwealth and the Pacific Region,” stated the report.

The Committee – during the hearing of the Tribunal – also sought its assistance. It wanted clarification on some of the matters raised during the scrutiny process of ministries and State-owned enterprises, and their related supplementary estimates in relation to salary adjustments.   

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“Some matters raised refer to the variances of salary level of principal officers with entry points of $45,000 for all ministries and $55,000 per annum for central agencies. 

“The Finance and Expenditure Committee raised its concern on the difference between salary scale, but the job descriptions are quite similar based on the core function of a particular ministry or public body,” the report stated.  

In response, the Tribunal advised that recommendations have been made to the Public Service Commission that the scale of all principal officers should be consistent – and all public officials should be treated fairly – but not in a discriminatory approach. 

The Committee also advised the Tribunal that as part of their review to assess and recommend, it would be appropriate to provide salary bands for the assistant chief executive officer and principal officer levels – as a mechanism to monitor and measure performance, and also as a tool to motivate the ACEOs and principal officers to perform to the best of their abilities, and reduce the cost of advertising these positions on a three-year contract basis. 

Furthermore, the Tribunal was also asked to consider the normal working hours for public servants. 

“It was proposed by the Finance Committee that normal hours at work should be reduced from eight to seven hours but normal rates still apply. 

“The proposal is based on reducing costs with regards to electricity, and utilising that extra hour to develop other incentives like farming and other developments to generate revenue earnings for families and the economy as a whole,” stated the report.  

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