15 Sep 2004

Fiji public service accused of nepotism and corruption under Rabuka government

10:11 am on 15 September 2004

It's been revealed in Fiji that the country's Public Service Commission was rife with nepotism, favouritism and corruption during the term of the Rabuka government.

The Fiji Times reports that the disclosure has come from the outgoing chairman of the commission, Sakeasi Waqanivavalagi.

Mr Waqanivavalagi says the nepotism, favouritism and corruption in practice was not helped by the biased 1990 Constitution which favoured only indigenous Fijians.

He says during that time top government positions were only given to indigenous Fijians without considering their merit, to the exclusion of other races who had the qualifications.

Mr Waqanivavalagi says during the government of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara earlier a merit system was followed.

But, he says, when Mr Rabuka came into power everything in the Public Service Commission changed and they never gave any chance to Indians to lead the various government ministries.

Mr Waqanivavalagi says the 1997 Constitution and changes in policy to base all civil service promotions on merit ushered in a change in the government machinery.