31 Mar 2005

Fiji union leader says corruption can only be rooted out if protection provided to whistleblowers.

7:24 pm on 31 March 2005

The general secretary of Fiji's Public Service Association says corruption in the civil sector can only be got rid of if protection is provided for whistle-blowers.

Rajeshwar Singh has criticised plans by the Public Service Commission to explore the option of a new public service, which would be likely to have 10 or fewer ministries.

Its chairman, Stuart Huggett, says the current service is too complex, there are too many ministries, at a total of 23, and responsibilities often overlap.

But Mr Singh says creating a new public sector makes little sense, and he questions claims by Mr Huggett that the proposal will root out corruption.

"Him and his commissioners have got to stamp out the mafia ring that exists"

in the civil service. And this ring has been manipulating the service for too long at the cost of the majority of the innocent employees. And then when he comes in he announces that he wants to weed out corruption and downsize the public service. The corruption in the service can only be got rid of if there is protection for whistle-blowers, which we discussed, and he said he was going to do something. He hasn't done anything.

The general secretary of Fiji's PSA, Rajeshwar Singh