Committee concerned with high Govt. vacancies

The Government has 484 position vacancies in various ministries and corporations.

This was revealed in the Parliamentary Committee Report for the supplementary budget for the Financial Year 2018-2019, which was approved and enacted into law last week.

The total expenditure in the Supplementary Budget for the Financial Year 2018-2019 totals $19.37 million. 

There are 100 unfilled positions with the National Health Service, while the Ministry of Police has 90 vacancies. According to the report, a total of $3.73 million was allocated for the 1,022 personnel salaries as well as 100 vacant positions. 

“The Committee queried the Service’s personnel funds that have been used up to 59 per cent in six months, while there are 100 positions currently vacant – which will create any faults with the 41 per cent left for the remaining six months.” 

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The report stated that the National Health Service responded, saying: “This was due to its provision, where the National Health Service employs general practitioners for $150-$350 per hour in times of staff shortage. Another reason is caused by paying overtime for support staff and operations.”   

The Ministry of Police had the second highest number of unfilled positions and the supplementary appropriations for the Ministry totalled $363,879. The Committee said the number of vacancies, and the response outlined, is due to the increase in applicants with high qualification standards. Consequently, this has led to the late filling of vacant positions. 

The Ministry of Education each have 31 unfilled positions and $2.01 million was allocated for their salary increase.

The Committee raised its concerns, asking whether it is justifiable for teachers who are not performing to get salary increases. 

“The concern was based on quality assurance and the outcome of exam results specifically for Years 12-13 and the University Preparatory Year exams, which the results over the years were not satisfactory. 

“The (M.E.S.C.) Management responded this issue will prioritised and addressed during the education sector and teachers annual conference,” stated the report. 

Other Ministries that have unfilled positions include the Ministry of Finance 31; Attorney General’s office 22; Land Transport Authority 18; Ministry of Justice Courts and Administration 17; Ministry of Health 14; Samoa Trust Estate Corporation and others.

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