24 Aug 2006

Fiji Public Service accused of unconstitutional hiring practices

10:03 am on 24 August 2006

Fiji's Public Service Commission is to carry out an inquiry into unconstitutional hiring practices in the government.

The Fiji Times reports that this comes amid allegations of discrimination against ethnic Indians who apply for state positions.

The chairman of the PSC, Stuart Huggett, admits that the situation is "very bad" and urgent assessment is needed into the recruitment style and constitutional breaches in the racial composition of the civil service.

Mr Huggett says "the racial balance of people employed in the civil service does not reflect the total population of the groups in the country."

Mr Huggett says he is awaiting the appointment of two more commissioners before the full commission calls a meeting with stakeholders including a union representative and four ministerial chief executives

The Fiji Public Service Association says the public service has 11,600 indigenous Fijians and 6,300 ethnic Indians.

The association's general secretary, Rajeshwar Singh, says according to a partnership agreement signed with the PSC last April, race based recruitment should end.