Unbudgeted allowances cost Govt Vt 64 million

Ulei airstrip, Ambrym – site of a land ownership ruling given by a land tribunal made up of just one chief. Unsurprisingly, this ruling was declared unlawful – see below for more.

Ulei airstrip, Ambrym: site of a land ownership ruling given by a land tribunal made up of just one chief. This ruling has been declared unlawful – see below for more.

Acting allowances to civil servants have cost Government over Vt 64 million in the past six months – expenses Government had not budgeted for. The Finance Department advised this could mean the sudden reduction of other planned expenditures. The projected budgets for these allowances were zero, says Radio Vanuatu. It is to be hoped lessons will hereby be learned.

Lessons should also be learned from a declaration of kastom land ownership by a council of chiefs which met as a land tribunal but whose decision has been ruled unlawful and quashed

by Justice Aru of the Supreme Court. Various provisions of the Custom Land Management Act were complied with. Others were not. The decision concerns the land on which the Ulei airstrip in Ambrym is located. The kastom council of chiefs, the Malmeli Council of Chiefs (MCC) had decided the ownership of the land with only their Chairman present and constituting the land tribunal. The Customary Lands Unit (CLU) of the Department of Lands should then not have accepted the MCC’s decision. (Daily Post)

The second national Congress of the Reunification of Movements for Change (RMC) will be held in Santo in 2018. As mentioned earlier, PM Charlot Salwai has been re-elected President. Caroline Kalangis of Efate was named national vice president of the party last week. Over 30 women were present at the Congress at Melsisi last week. Vanuatu Indigenous Watch has carried considerable news of the RMC Congress and details a little of the history of the party, too. RMC was born in 2012 out of the Union of Moderate Parties for Change, and following court action by Serge Vohor to prevent use of the name UMPC just before the 2012 election.

PM Charlot Salwai, on his trip north for the RMC Congress, stopped off at Matevulu College, Santo, and spoke to students, together with Education Minister Jean-Pierre Nirua. The PM was pleased to point out that two current ministers were students of Matevulu, Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaia and Justice Minister Ronald Warsal. Other ministers joined in a welcome ceremony for the visitors and opened the school’s new internet facilities. Feasting took place. (VIW)

Vanuatu’s trade commissioner in Australia, Donald Pelam, is in Vanuatu to discuss with manufacturers the possibility of having their products sold in Australia. Asian products similar to our own, like virgin coconut oil, are widely sold in Australia, but Pelam is here to suggest Australian market entry possibilities. (Radio Vanuatu)


4 Comments on “Unbudgeted allowances cost Govt Vt 64 million”

  1. Robert Joshua says:

    The sum of VT64mn is the overall sum across the entire Government not only from a Ministry. Although not budgeted for but whenever inputs are done on government payroll system by the Payroll section of the Department of Finance, it automatically captured the acting allowances. That does not mean there are needs to be budgets for it. It automatically consumed whatever fund is available and if insufficient warrant in a particularly cost center, the overall payroll budget becomes negative affecting further commitment from the operation budget. The financial term used as ‘warrant’ refers to when there are funds (warrant) available to be committed from the Government financial information system called Smartstream under a particular Cost Centre. Cost centre refers to a particular department or section within a Department which has a separate Budget.
    Whenever future warrants are released, they automatically net off the negative payroll warrant that was already created. This trend will continue until year ends and yes, it will strangely affect service delivery as funds will now be diverted to correct the overspending payroll. This is normal in the Government and overtime, the Ministerial Budget Committee are aware of what has been going on but hardly they will address because once an acting appointment is made, it becomes legal.
    I should say, it is a management issue not an error. It can be addressed through measures to avoid making acting appointment that will last more than 6 months. According to the PSC Staff manual, acting appointment can only be a a short period of up to 6 months and then necessary steps must be taken to appoint the officer on permanent basis. In any other times, appointments could be delay due to other reasons including study leave, maternity leave, sick leave, delay in recruitment processes etc…


  2. Nasimal ( Nasingamelip ) says:

    Is that what we call bad management or an error? I suppose this happens every time when appointments were made. But I guess this sum must come from some other government department to plug this unbudgeted hole while some of our country folks still having hardships from last year’s Cyclone Pam.


  3. Robert Joshua says:

    PSC & the Government to be blamed. The head of the Executive has the power to transfer public servants for 6 months to positions of interest on acting basis but must be paid acting allowances. PSC being responsible for HR Issues and the Employer has the authority to appointing public servant on acting basis capacity. It is always difficult to predict public servants to be appointed on acting basis making it difficult for budgeting processes. That is the reality in the Government public servant who are acting must be paid acting allowances as prescribe by laws (PSC Manual).


  4. Nasimal ( Nasingamelip ) says:

    Who is going to be blamed for the unbudgeted 64 million vt the civil servants spent without thoughtful consideration about country’s needs? Someone has been falling asleep in the wheel house. If they proper audit each quarter, they would not run onto this mess. Thank you.