8 Sep 2005

World Bank tells Fiji to reconsider its public sector reforms

2:02 pm on 8 September 2005

The World Bank has recommended the reversal of most of the key public sector reforms undertaken by the Fiji government.

The Bank has recommended the suspension of the performance management system in the civil service and the re-introduction of the Cost of Living Adjustment or COLA.

The Fiji Times reports the Bank has made the recommendations in its draft report on the civil service and financial and public sector reforms, prepared at the request of the Fiji government.

The mission found that the reforms target internal processes rather than respond to public concerns on corruption and the quality of public services.

The Bank has recommended that the government immediately reduce the civil service by freezing vacancies and prioritisation of posts, and the suspension of the performance management system which will cost between 18- and 30-million US dollars a year.

It says efforts to reduce abuse at lower levels of the public service will not be effective without a credible, strong and public commitment at the top.

The general secretary of the Fiji Nursing Association, Kuini Lutua, says the unions had always maintained from the beginning that the performance management system would not work.