People who earn consultant-level salaries must be capable of producing consultant-quality work. You do not pay a medical professional a specialist fee and then expect them to only perform the functions of a medex.
Those who are paid consultant salaries should be expected to do consultant-level work. They must not be allowed to outsource critical responsibilities.
One of the problems with the APNU+AFC was that they were some persons who were being paid salaries which are usually paid to consultants who work with international organizations but they were not producing the work commensurate with this level of salary. As such, the country was not receiving value for money.
This is not acceptable. Once you are paid to do a job, you should do the job and not receive monies while performing duties at a lower level.
When persons are employed by international organizations, they are normally paid what persons in similar positions elsewhere would enjoy. This is standard practice in international organizations. You pay consultants at the existing international rates and this, naturally would be far higher than what locals are being paid by government would receive.
Those who are employed by international organizations are expected to satisfy two requisites. Firstly, they must be capable of doing the job at the level of the position, which they hold. Assuming they hold a consultant position, they would have to do the analysis and prepare the reports which are usually prepared by consultants. They cannot receive a consultant salary and do the work of a clerk.
Secondly, they would be normally employed after a competitive process. They would normally through a rigorous process before they are employed. Not many persons are handpicked for international jobs.
Often, the government requests technical assistance from an international organization. Soon after the recruitment process starts. The government would normally have to agree to any person appointed to work but the persons selected would have undergone a careful screening process, once there was no competitive process involved.
The APNU+AFC employed persons within the state bureaucracy who were not part of any contract with international organizations. And these persons were being paid extremely attractive salaries. Some of the salaries and benefits were so attractive that they were earning more than magistrates and judges.
Their compensation was coming from the treasury. This means that taxpayers were financing these huge salaries.
The figures that have been made public makes one question whether these persons were providing value for money. It is extraordinary that in some agencies, persons were working for more than a million dollars per month, plus benefits. This is a consultant-level package. But was the government receiving consultant-quality work?
It is within this context, that it was strange that the government would have had to outsource the writing of the Green State Development Strategy. The Strategy was prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) even though there were persons working in the government who were receiving consultant-level wages and who therefore should have been asked to write the Strategy. It makes no sense paying persons consultant-level salary and not testing their capability to undertake consultant-level work. It was a travesty that the Green State Development Strategy had to be outsourced, especially considering the high-paid specialist who were employed by the APNU+AFC and paid from the treasury.
The level of remuneration which the APNU+AFC paid to some persons was staggering. It is not as if these persons were being paid by grant resources from international organizations. They were being funded by the Treasury and therefore, in many instances, should not have been at such a high pay grade.
How much does someone employed by the Attorney General Chambers receive when compared to what some other persons were being paid for providing legal services? It may have been best if some of these high-paid employees were given short-term contracts for project work rather than being put on the permanent establishment.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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