Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Political Secretary

Under the Federal Constitution Article 160..

"Member of the administration" means,
in relation to the Federation, a person holding office as Minister, Deputy Minister, Parliamentary Secretary or Political Secretary and,
in relation to a State, a person holding a corresponding office in the State or holding office as member (other than an official member) of the Executive Council.

What are the duties of a Political Secretary vis-a-vis as a Member of the Administration?

The position of the Political Secretary as stated in the Federal Constitution is very clear. At the Federal level, Political Secretaries are appointed by the Prime Minister; and at the State level, by the Chief Minister.

Nevertheless by the nature of its calling, Political Secretaries are often regarded as a political post. In fact, most of the Government Departments do not recognise letters from Political Secretaries as from one arm of the government to another.

Hierarchy wise, Political Secretaries must be respected or be given cognisance as an institution clustered together with Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries at the Federal level and at the State level, they are after the EXCO members.

The duties of a political secretary may differ from each other depending on the Ministry or State they are serving. It depend on the Minister or Chief Minister and the area of expertise of a political secretary. Whatever maybe the duties assigned to a political secretary, the main function must be to ensure that the country remain stable especially politically. They must remain behind the curtain and must always provide a firsthand information and updates to their political superiors.

Failure of the political secretary to provide information and updates will be fatal especially to the Ministers. They must not overshadow the Ministers nor must they be in confrontation with the Ministers.

In a way, Political Secretaries form a very important part of the day-to-day running of the Ministry or State. Naturally, their position must be respected in accordance with the recognisance as provided by the Constitution.

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