Acting department heads are acceptable

Letters, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 24th, 2013

 THERE are many writers complaining about the need for the National Executive Council to make permanent appointments in provincial administrations or national agencies. 

They say that a provincial administrator should be permanently appointed so that the respective administrations will perform properly.

They are of the view that  acting provincial administrators or department secretaries lack the power to run the affairs of the agencies as a permanent appointee would.

It is a serious misconception that an acting provincial administrator or department secretary does not have the same powers as a permanent appointee. 

An acting department head or an acting provincial administrator exercises has  the same powers as a permanent administrator. 

But in terms of job performance and productivity, it is expected that an acting provincial administrator or an acting departmental head will be more productive and outperform their permanent counterparts.

Acting incumbents will work hard and perform diligently to impress their employers, the provincial governments or the national government, that they deserve their jobs. 

However, permanent administrators or departmental heads normally are ineffective and unproductive because they become complacent in the belief they cannot be removed as they already have a permanent employment contract. 

It should also be pointed out that provincial administrators or departmental heads are powerful people. 

They are the accountable officers as chief executive officers of the PECs and the provincial assemblies. 

They have the powers of hiring, maintenance and termination under special general orders. 

However, these powers are exercised by both acting provincial administrators and a department heads. 

There is no difference or limits on the level of funds that they can sign off. 

Finally, the acting provincial administrators or acting departmental heads must work diligently to earn their positions.

They are likely to be more productive than those getting appointed through other means.


Public Servant

Port Moresby