The government does not forego tendering procedures for the introduction of a political advisory post
The VIP government has introduced a new advisory body called the Ministerial Political Adviser (MPA), but has dispensed with the tendering process required for this.
In a summary of recent Cabinet decisions released yesterday, July 22, the government said the post should be awarded for any tenure that allows the cumulative compensation to be no more than $ 120,000 per year .
According to the Cabinet document, the item should be “similar to the model used in the UK”.
Under the approved advisory model, Prime Minister Andrew Fahie would not be assigned more than three MPAs, while no more than one MPA would be assigned to any other Cabinet Minister and Junior Minister.
The ministries are expected to allocate the MPAs remuneration as part of their consultant vote, while the junior ministerial MPAs payments will be borne by the Prime Office’s consultant vote.
The contracts for each consultant, according to the cabinet document, do not cover tips, annual leave and sick leave.
MPAs to assist with speech writing, research and analysis
The new advisors are expected to assist with research and analysis, speeches for ministers and other areas described in their job description.
While advisors are expected to be hired as independent contractors and have the same tenure as ministers, they must also be subject to all civil service laws, regulations and guidelines during their tenure.
This is with the exception of cases where research, advice and other assistance to a minister could involve policy considerations that would not be acceptable for a permanent official, the document says.
Code of conduct, declarations of interest expected
MPAs are expected to adhere to a specific code of conduct and to be subordinate to an integrity committee that will include both the Permanent Secretaries (PSs) of the Prime Minister and Deputy Governor and one of the four other PSs on a rotating basis each year.
The Cabinet document states that the Integrity Committee has the power to consult MPAs on their compliance with the Code of Conduct or any conflict of interest issues and that the Committee can submit a report to the Prime Minister for consideration.
In addition, MPAs would be required to declare any private interests they have in relation to matters that may be deemed relevant to their work when assuming their duties and at regular intervals when circumstances so require.
These disclosures must be communicated to the appointing minister and forwarded to the prime minister and his state secretary.
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