10 Jun 2013

Vanuatu to crack down on diplomatic passport appointments

5:14 am on 10 June 2013

Transparency International in Vanuatu has welcomed the new government's ongoing efforts to purge the diplomatic sector of dubious diplomatic passport appointments.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs is understood to have sacked around ten diplomats since his appointment in March as part of a review of the diplomatic sector.

Edward Natapei, who indicated that as many as 70 of the 99 overseas representatives could lose their jobs, says many appointments were made without following the proper procedure.

Transparency's Marie-Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says she tried as Vanuatu's former Ombudsman in the mid-1990s to deal with the practice of selling diplomatic passports.

"That led to a full clean-up after the beginning of 2000 and yes, evewrytime we get an expansion of these diplomatic passports again it is good to hear that the minister is reviewing them all and making sure they are done in accordance with the law."

Marie-Noelle Ferrieux Patterson.