9 Nov 2007

Vanuatu's Finance Minister concerned over PM's decision to transfer department

10:51 am on 9 November 2007

Vanuatu's Finance Minister has voiced concern over the Prime Minister's decision to transfer the Department of Economic and Strategic Planning, or DESP, from the Finance Ministry to his own Portfolio.

The Daily Post newspaper reports that finance minister Willie Jimmy has blamed what he calls "power hungry civil servants" for influencing the Prime Minister Ham Lini to enact the transfer.

Mr Jimmy fears the transferral will undo the effectiveness of the Comprehensive Reform Program.

He says there are certain issues that will need addressing now that the transfer has taken place to avoid any delay in the decision-making process for policy matters under DESP.

Mr Jimmy has warned of a potential clash if under the transferral, the DESP becomes politicised and loses access to available resources to finance the policies of the Government.

He says that the Prime Minister would have to be cautious to not become involved in the fights of civil servants.