Malabag defends public servants

National, Normal


POLITICIANS must perform and show credibility in their leadership if they expect heads of Government departments and agencies to perform their duties efficiently, Public Employees Association president Michael Malabag said.
“Public servants are only as good as their political masters, and on most occasions, they are held in compromising situations to perform their duties,” Mr Malabag said when responding to Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare’s call for all government department and agency heads to improve their performance.
“How can you expect them to perform their duties when their movements are being limited and controlled by their superiors in the political levels of leadership?
“Political leadership must take the lead and now set an example for all to follow so that there is a swift flow through the mechanisms of the Government departments and agencies for the efficient delivery of goods and services,” Mr Malabag said.
He said all government departments and agencies now had to direct their policies and plans towards the Government’s Vision 2050.
“Vision 2050 is the overall outlook that the Government has set for the nation so that it can achieve its goals and aims in that timeframe, but it is only essential that the departments and agencies focus towards that direction.”
Mr Malabag, however, commended Sir Michael for taking the initiative to remind the leaders in government departments and agencies they were not just a privileged group of public servants who had access to important information, but also played an important role in the executive and legislative arms of government.
Sir Michael, in his meeting with the heads of government departments and agencies, said he was concerned the public service seemed to slip in a number of areas and, at the same time, was not addressing issues effectively to meet the challenges that were created from the present economic growth.
He urged the heads of government departments and agencies to go out and gauge the needs of the country and set examples for their subordinates to follow.
There were mixed views among public servants when The National interviewed a number of them who wished to remain anonymous over questions whether politicians were performing their duties or not.
One public servant said it was two-fold in which both political and bureaucratic leaderships were to be blamed for the dysfunction in the Government’s delivery of goods and services.