Minister of Finance makes a lot of sense

Dear Editor,

Re: Govt is not broke

I like what the Minister of Finance is saying - makes sense to ordinary folks on the street, like me.

Sili has a number of great things going for him. One, he is a Salelologa guy (everybody from that village is great!).

Second he knows what he is talking about, from his experience as previous C.E.O of the Ministry of Finance. Lastly, he has the humility, which is lacking in other laui’as.

I am not casting any aspersions on those who previously occupied the chair, which is now Sili’s, but he is significantly better by comparison.

What mystifies me though is about the government’s changed approach to projects partly funded through overseas aid. Take for instance the institutional strengthening (I.S.P) project partly funded by Australia and which had a number of components, one of which was devolution of functions from the central agencies (Ministry of Finance and P.S.C) to rest of the service. Many thousands of aid dollars were spent on I.S.P for what? While there has been lip service to this devolution of functions, P.S.C still has a stronghold on recruitment and the Ministry of Finance still carries out basically the same functions it has pre-I.S.P.

I wonder whether Australia even cares how effective its aid dollars are in meeting Samoa’s development needs.

Another case in point is the organisational structure in the police force. My sources at the makeki told me that having four assistant police commissioners was based on a recommended model brought in by Australian consultants, again under I.S.P. 

My simple question is this - why do we have to agree with everything the overseas aid donor consultants say and then change our minds later? 

Isn’t this a waste of time and effort especially for the local counterparts who work hard to put in place new systems and frameworks? The overseas consultants are happy for they get paid handsomely and then walk away from something which they think the government (and by extension the people) like. 

I understand, although not absolutely sure, that what Australia had recommended under I.S.P works well in that country.

Can some big laui’a please explain the complexities of the this aid program to a simpleton like me. Ma lo’u fa’aaloalo lava.


Vai Autu

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