I have to share this post from Daphne Caruana Galizia's blog as I am tired as well of listening to people claim that what Labour is doing in terms of appointments and meritocracy is just as bad as what the previous PN administration did. It is not. And here's an explanation why.
"I really have to comment here because I am so tired of hearing the inevitable rejoinder that ‘the other lot were just as bad’. When it comes to engagement in private secretariats, a process I was closely involved in from the start in 1998, there was a centrally monitored system for ensuring that these engagements were appropriate.
1. In 1998 the Cabinet approved a STANDARD organisation structure for each and every secretariat with fixed positions. Posts could not be created on a whim. These positions were pegged to the appropriate Public Service salary scales and the total package for each one, including any allowances, were also standard.
2. This organisation structure was geared to ensure that the overall majority of secretariat employees were public officers (which also meant that the impact on the salary bill was controlled); only three posts, in addition to the driver posts, could be filled from outside the government.
3. All persons proposed had to be submitted for the approval of the Prime Minister. This was only done after a full security check was carried out. The person’s skills and qualifications also had to be suitable. For example, regulations required that if a public officer was proposed, his or her substantive salary scale had to be of a similar level to the salary scale of the secretariat post in question. You could never have a situation therefore where a clerk (substantive scale 16) was suddenly trumped up to a post linked anywhere above scale 10.
4. All engagements were regulated by a standard contract with a clear position description. Inter alia, this clearly specified that the officer could not engage in other work/employment outside the secretariat against remuneration. It further specified that the officer could not sit on government boards against remuneration. The intention here was to eliminate ‘double benefits’ at all times. On this basis, it would have been impossible to have a situation where a full-time secretariat employee on contract to have a separate and concurrent contract with another ministry or indeed any other area of the government. On the other hand this seems to be a common practice under the new administration.
5. Yes, of course consultants were engaged at ministry level – however nowhere near the scale and number we are seeing now, where I suspect a ‘Consultant on Silly Walks’ is at this very moment waiting in the wings at a ministry near you.
6. The system was not perfect and mistakes were made along the way. In the main, however, it was rigorous and it was there, unlike the undignified free for all we are currently witnessing."
Original link: http://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/2014/05/top-comment-of-the-night-2/