22 Aug 2005

Fiji economist calls for Public Service rethink

9:03 pm on 22 August 2005

An economist in Fiji says there needs to be better qualified people leading the public service.

Dr Biman Prasad, who heads the economics department at the University of the South Pacific, was speaking after the auditor-general released a report stating that there had been a gross abuse of public funds, amounting to tens of millions of dollars.

This is not the first time the auditor general has highlighted the abuse of public funds in the public service.

Dr Prasad says following the coups, many qualified people left and others were promoted on the basis of being there a long time.

He says it's about time the Public Service Commission looked at who it employed, how they employed them and under what terms and conditions.

"'There are some very good people in the civil service in the middle level; young people, bright, who can move things. I think we need to look at the dead wood at the top and perhaps think about people in the middle ranks who are young, qualified, who have the energy, the drive, who understand the importance of managing government funds in an efficient and effective manner."

Dr Biman Prasad, from the University of the South Pacific.