P.M. dismisses biased hiring claims
The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, has denied reports that appointments to the courts and public service are not made independently.
“These appointments are made [by Cabinet] based on recommendations from the Public Service Commission and the Judicial Service Commission,” he said during his programme on TV1 on Thursday.
“The only time I play a part in this is when the Cabinet meets and then we collaborate on the recommendation and make the final decision.”
He said for Government agencies and authorities, a board oversees the hiring process; they appoint panellists, and their recommendations go to the Cabinet for final approval.
“However regarding the Ministries, the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) oversees the [recruitment] process,” Tuilaepa said.
“They publicise the advertisement for the position and they also appoint a [panel] which includes a representative of the P.S.C. and their recommendation will be subjective to Cabinet approval.”
He said the Judicial Service Commission (J.S.C.), which oversees the hiring of judges, but they must submit a request for approval to the Cabinet.
“This is exactly what I mean when it comes to the fusion of power,” the Prime Minister said.
“There is independence afforded to each arm of Government; however there are aspects of the work that require the approval from one arm of Government to another.
“The Judges are independent and so are their decisions in court matters, but the staff are overseen by the P.S.C.
“The J.S.C. consists of Chief Justice, President of the L.T.C.; Attorney General; a member of the P.S.C. and retired judges.
“That is what I mean; the appointments are not made entirely by me. The recommendation comes from the Ministry to Cabinet and this also applies to Deputy and Assistant C.E.O.
“There are times when [there is] only one applicant, it has to be re-advertised.
“Sometimes the Cabinet reviews this person’s background is good, then there is no need to re-advertise the position.”
Tuilaepa said that most of the time the recommendations from the P.S.C. are upheld by Cabinet, but there are also times that Cabinet has rejected the recommendation and re-advertised the position and change the composition of the selection panel.
Last year Member of Parliament, Sulamanaia Tauiliili Tuivasa accused the Cabinet of interfering with the Public Service Commission’s recruitment process for Chief Executive Officers.
But the charge was strongly rejected by the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi.