VANUATU ROVING AMBASSADOR’S CONTRACT LEAKED

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VANUATU ROVING AMBASSADOR’S CONTRACT LEAKED Daily Post confirms 15% payment if funding obtained

By Letty Kaltonga PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 3, 2012) - After reports of a contract signed by Vanuatu’s first female Roving Ambassador to Russian and the Eastern Countries, which included a 15% entitlement in any money secured in the name of the Republic of Vanuatu, Daily Post has finally been leaked a copy of the contract.

When Mrs Thi Tam Goiset was appointed by Alfred Carlot, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade on November 28, 2011 as the Roving Ambassador of the Republic of Vanuatu to Russia and Eastern Countries, her appointment included a set of terms and conditions.

One of these is that, as an employee of the Government, while not entitled to any remuneration for service rendered under the contract, she is still entitled to 15% incentive on any negotiation involving any money being granted to the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu.

This means that if, for example, Mrs Goiset secures through whatever means 100 million vatu [US$1.1 million] in the name of the Republic of Vanuatu, she will get 15 million vatu [US$159,000] for her personal use as set out in the terms and conditions of employment.

Under the Remuneration, Allowances and Benefits clause of the contract, Goiset’s additional benefit includes "use of one car for official duties and use of incidental thereto at Government expenses" and "the payment of business class or economic class ticket between Port Vila and Russia and Eastern Countries for official duties".

And as a diplomat she is entitled to full diplomatic privileges and immunities under the Diplomatic and Immunities Act.

Ironically Goiset’s contract came to light physically after Prime Minister Sato Kilman reiterated his government’s stand against corruption.

Goiset’s document of appointment signed by Minister Alfred Carlot shows that the minister signed the document following the approval of the Council of Ministers.

This is not the first time that Mrs Goiset has been in such controversy in relation to overseas missions as she came under the spotlight a few years ago when Prime Minister Sato Kilman was the minister for foreign affairs.

She was reportedly arrested in New Caledonia about six years ago under a diplomatic passport with no official status and a number of unexplained passports and an undeclared cash amount equivalent to Vt5 million.

Like the minister for foreign affairs, Alfred Carlot and Prime Minister Sato Kilman, Goiset is also a staunch supporter of the pro-Russian break-away republic of Abkhazia. Abkhazia made headlines last year when it received support from Nauru and Vanuatu. According to the New York Times and Britain’s Telegraph, Russia was prepared to give Nauru $50 million in humanitarian aid, which is around Vt4 billion, in return for Nauru’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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