The Palestinian Authority and its Prime Minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh, repeatedly declare to the international community and donors the fiscal deficit of its public budget and threaten austerity measures that affect its employees and the services that ‘They provide.
Although the truth of what the authority announces is unknown to anyone, due to the absence of transparency and ambiguity in the interpretation of the general budget.
The promotions file in the Authority institutions is one of the most important issues that highlight the lack of seriousness of the measures of the Palestinian government in the face of what it announces of a financial crisis, the worst since it started, according to the expression of its officials.
One of the basic rules for dealing with any financial crisis that governments face is to stop promotions, which involve an increase in salary, especially if the promotions in managerial positions in institutions or ministries.
In recent months, dozens of employees have benefited from promotions in managerial positions, some exceptional, on September 8, President Mahmoud Abbas granted 8 promotions to officials of several ministries, including two promotions of director grade (A), two promotion to manager grade (A1), four promotion to grade (A2), three promotion to manager grade (A3) and one promotion to manager grade a note (A4).
The higher promotions require a decision by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, but some of them only need a decision by Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, which happened to promote (RA), wife of one of Shtayyeh’s companions, in the same month that the officials received 75% of their salaries, the promotion was in “Land and Water Settlement Authority”.
The exceptional promotion violated the article (25) of the Basic Law, with regard to the right to occupy jobs on the basis of equal opportunities, and in violation of the constitutional law in articles ( 9 and 25), as stipulated in the Civil Service Law, according to legal confirmation.
Although there is no clear legal text regarding the appointment of officers, governors and senior officials, article 7 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption signed by Palestine in 2014 stipulates the need to adopt principles of efficiency, transparency and objective criteria, such as: merit, fairness and eligibility in recruitment and promotion systems, which is the opposite of appointments and promotions to posts superiors in institutions of authority, where more than 35 promotion decisions issued by President Mahmoud Abbas, despite announcing decision to stop promotions, purchase of real estate, cars and a number of decisions to alleviate the severity of the financial crisis afflicting the Authority.
Economist Haitham Daraghmeh believes that “as long as the Palestinian Authority suffers from an economic crisis and the government has gone to divide salaries, it is supposed to move to austerity, and not just by deducting 25% of employee salaries, instead they should stop promotions from higher levels.
For his part, Khalil Assaf, head of the Association of Independent Personalities of the West Bank, asserts that any system that is not subject to oversight ignores standards of transparency, integrity or public interest, and tends to serve the power centers that serve the authorities.
Assaf continues: These power centers serve authority supporters, and everyone tries to take for themselves what they can, adding: If we look at some of the ambassadors who have been appointed recently, we will find that it’s “the former director general of the police or children of certain officials and officers.