09 September 2007

Three-year government contracts for the most capable

The Star

PUTRAJAYA: The three-year contract announced in the 2008 Budget for secretaries-general of ministries and heads of departments is offered to anyone appointed to these posts, even if they are not nearing the retirement age.

Usually, those appointed to such posts are the most senior in rank and age as they will have the most experience among the qualified staff, said Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

“The way secretaries-general and heads of departments are appointed now is that usually, it will be the most senior qualified person and usually, when they are 55 years old. This means upon appointment, he or she will only have around 11 months to plan.

“At present, they may be given contract to extend their service upon reaching the age of 56, which is renewable every year. But they don’t know that when they are appointed. They only know for sure that they have 11 months.

“But this contract service will let them know that on the day they are appointed, they will have three years,” he told reporters in the post-Budget briefing at his office here yesterday.

Nor Mohamed said the contract service is not only for those nearing retirement age.

“If someone is extremely capable and appointed to such posts when he is just, say, 49 years old, he will also be offered the contract and knows for sure he will have three years to lead the agency,” he added.

Successful ones could have their contracts extended.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said that the offer for the contract, to be effective Jan 1, was an initial step to improving the performance of the civil service.

The contract would be offered to officers serving in the diplomatic and administrative service and their work would be rewarded based on key performance indicators (KPIs) as used in transforming the government-linked companies.

Nor Mohamed said the budget was also designed to help Malaysia find a niche for growth, especially with the fast developing economies of China and India.

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