15 Dec 2003

Fiji ministers among applicants for top bureaucracy jobs

4:46 pm on 15 December 2003

At least three Fiji Cabinet Ministers and many senior private sector leaders are reported to be among 150 applicants for the country's top public service jobs.

Fiji TV reports that other applicants include permanent secretaries and senior civil servants vying to become one of the 25 newly designated chief executive officers of ministries.

Independent consultants from New Zealand are doing the interviews in Suva, but the shortlist will go to the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, for the final decision.

Fiji TV says the applications by the current cabinet ministers have raised serious questions of impartiality and conflict of interest.

One Cabinet minister who was the former civil head of his ministry is now reported to be eyeing the top public service job in his own ministry.

The reason is understood to be the high salaries for the new jobs, which at more than fifty thousand US dollars a year, plus perks, are 25 per cent higher than ministerial salaries.