The Australian federal opposition has welcomed AusAID’s move to phase out a quarter of adviser positions in the next two years and trim salaries of advisers by 25 percent.
A review of technical adviser positions in AusAID’s bilateral aid programs found “over-reliance” on the use of advisers and recommended the axing of 257 posts, most of which are in Papua New Guinea. The review, which assessed 952 adviser positions, was completed Feb. 15.
Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd also confirmed that the maximum fee levels of all commercially contracted advisers funded by AusAID will be about 25 percent less than the highest rates currently being paid.
>> AusAID to Ax 257 Adviser Posts After Review Finds ‘Over-reliance’ on Experts
Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop said she welcomes “the fact that the Foreign Minister is taking action to ensure more efficient and effective aid delivery.”
“This is a matter of concern to them [heads of state and foreign ministers from the Asia-Pacific region], that Australian aid is being absorbed by payments to the officials in charge of the aid program and that it wasn’t reaching the required destination, particularly in the areas of health and education,” Bishop was quoted by The Canberra Times as saying. ”These concerns were raised in a National Audit Office report in 2009 and the Government has taken some time to address them.”
Read more development aid news.