Vanuatu Government Workers Told To Stop Accessing Social Media Sites

Public Service Commission wants employees to focus on service delivery

By Godwin Ligo 

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 1, 2016) – The Public Service Commission has given an instruction to all Public Servants throughout the country to stop accessing social media sites.

But a public servant who asked to remain anonymous said public servants do contribute directly and also indirectly to the Government of the day policies via comments and queries.

This has been proven to be more effective than letters and notes that does take time and even is just no longer used in this modern time and age, he said.

In a memo from the Acting Secretary of the Public Service Commission, Jacques Gideon, which was also posted on facebook, the Public Service Commission (PSC) instructed all public servants to stop accessing social media sites, according to its meeting No. 8 of 29th April 2016, decision 35.

The Public Service Commission instruction carried in Bislama, states that all Public Servants in all Government Departments must cease access to all social media sites, unless they first obtain approval from the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) to have access to the social media sites.

The Daily Post was not able to get comments from the Public Service Commission Secretariat but understands inside sources that the Public Service Commission is concerned over the amount of time that some public servants in all Government Departments are spending each day accessing various social media sites instead of spending that amount of time in service deliveries to the people of Vanuatu.

Another reason is alleged to be the cost factor in terms of power consumption.

A Government insider told the Daily Post that if all the time spent by every public servants each day, each month is added up, it will come to an astronomical amount of time used up by all public servants on social media sites instead of spending it on policies, policy implementations and actual service delivery to the public of Vanuatu, the government insider told the Daily Post.

In terms of money, he said it is quite surmountable and it’s all tax payer money of the people of the Republic of Vanuatu, as well as foreign assistance money.

Some public servants have reacted against the Public Service Commission decision saying it infringes the right of individuals of the access to information and that not all public servants spend all that amount of time on social media sites. They even question why the Public Service Commission’s instruction target the public servants and not including the politicians in all Government Ministries including Members of Parliaments(MPs).

Other public servants argued that even Government Departments have Facebook pages carrying important and essential services information to the public. They say, many public servants access useful, constructive, essential services information via the Social Media Government Departments Face Book Pages. They feel that the Public Service Commission should not put a total ban on all Public Servants accessing social media sites, but rather allow the Public Servants certain time each day, for example lunch period for the Public Servants to access social media sites.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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