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Razzaz pledges ‘transparent’ appointment mechanism for senior government posts


Raed Omari , The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Wednesday said that there are certain criteria for appointment in senior government positions, acknowledging at the same time that such procedures are not necessarily accurate.
Razzaz’s remarks came during the Lower House’s oversight session on Wednesday, in response to deputies’ questions about the recent appointments in senior government positions that drew public criticism, as some of them went to some MPs’ relatives.
“I am not above reproach in these appointments, which might be faulty,” Razzaz said, referring to four recent appointments in senior positions.
Media outlets and people on social media criticised the appointments of some MPs’ relatives and others with unmatched degrees at the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), the Jordan Development Zones Company (JDZ) and the Government Contributions Company.
Razzaz said that the director of the IPA was appointed upon a recommendation from the higher appointment committee, made up of six ministers. Activists have claimed that the new IPA director holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
The premier added that the executive director of the ADC was appointed by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) without prior consultation with the government, while the chairperson of the JDZ’s board and the director of the Government Contributions Company had been appointed by a Cabinet decision.
His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday underlined that appointments in the government should be based on competence and expertise, and should be transparent and just.
King Abdullah, during a visit to the Prime Ministry where he chaired part of a Cabinet meeting, directed the government to explain its decisions to citizens and to reconsider any appointment that was not based on transparent and fair procedures.
The Cabinet on Wednesday discussed appointment procedures for leading and high-level jobs at public departments, in response to His Majesty’s directives to address remarks that were raised on recent appointments.
Razzaz instructed all officials, committees and employees in ministries, public departments, joint service councils, municipalities, the ASEZA and public universities to abide by set procedures, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The premier called on officials to abandon wasta (favouritism) and to appoint employees based on competence, suitability and qualifications.
Razzaz instructed total compliance with regulating laws and thorough reviews and studies, warning against wasta to rush any transaction at the expense of others.
The prime minister also urged officials not to accept official transactions and paperwork from unauthorised personnel. Only the people concerned in any transaction or their properly-authorised deputies and proxies can file or follow up on any government paperwork or application.
Razzaz called on officials to follow regulations and abide by them, to maintain the values of the state of law, integrity and transparency.
The aim of these instructions is to promote justice and equal opportunity for all, Petra said.

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