This is the final post in a series looking at the political advisers or special assistants appointed by our Chief Minister to serve in various government departments. They are political appointments to carry out some of the functions that should be carried out by a Minister’s public service officials. We are wondering why it is necessary to appoint them.
To see the earlier posts click on the headlines dealing with “Special Assistants” to the right of this post under “Archives”.
On balance, it can be concluded that their appointment is deplorable. They are for the most part doing the work of public servants. They are subject to no rules of conduct or conditions of service, as are public servants. They answer only to the Minister and to their conscience.
If more public servants are needed, then the proper thing to do is to hire more through proper channels rather than make political appointments. Such appointments cause disillusionment and discontent among public servants. This is especially so when persons, who are seen as not having performed well in their previous role in the public service, are seemingly rewarded by being appointed as special assistants.
If each of the 10 special assistants is paid $5,000.00 per month, that is $600,000.00 per year, or $3,000,000.00 over the five-year term of the government. If ministers need political assistants working alongside the public servants, then let them be paid out of party funds, and not from the public purse. Public funds should not be used to pay political appointees. That practice, if not downright corrupt is, to say the least, highly irregular.
There is something intrinsically wrong about government encouraging private developers to pay the salaries of Special Assistants who sit next to a Minister and advise. Why do the Ministers not recognise that?
It makes me mad as hell!