29 Dec 2003

Fiji's public service reform called an opportunity lost

4:07 pm on 29 December 2003

The reform of Fiji's Public Service is being called a lost opportunity after the chief executive positions were largely filled by ministry permanent secretaries.

Mick Beddoes, the opposition leader, says while there are some excellent people in the civil service, new blood is needed in order to bring about efficiency and end corruption.

The government phased out the 23 permanent secretary posts and is replacing them with chief executive officers.

Mr Beddoes says it appears that no private sector applicant appear to have been successful, so far, in obtaining any of the jobs.

"We should have been getting in some people who have experience within the private sector in terms of managing operations efficiently, and try to move away from the civil service mentality. We have a very inefficient civil service. We've had for many years and it's this inefficiency that's creating the opportunity for corruption and huge losses of money for a small country like Fiji which we can ill afford."

It's been reported that 13 permanent secretaries have been offered jobs as CEOs.

The chairman of the Public Service Commission, Sakeasi Waqanivavalagi, was not available for comment.