29 Aug 2006

Fiji's public service commission told its unable to discipline corrupt workers

7:56 am on 29 August 2006

A regional seminar on anti-corruption measures has been told that Fiji's public service commission is unable to effectively discipline corrupt civil servants.

The Daily Post reports that the comment comes from the director of Transparency International Fiji and senior Suva lawyer, Richard Naidu.

Mr Naidu says the Fiji public service commission's lack of process, resources and commitment to disciplinary cases is a major impediment to the elimination of corruption within the public service.

Mr Naidu has highlighted recent scams such as the 157-million US dollar National Bank of Fiji scandal, the 17-million US dollar agriculture ministry scam in 2001 and the Commodity Development Framework scandal which cost 33-million US dollar in the late 1990s.

He says in the 5-million US dollar Water and Sewerage Department scam in 2003, the only disciplinary action was a 300-US dollar fine and a sideways transfer for the senior engineer involved, adding that such measures are a major barrier to fighting corruption.

Mr Naidu says the PSC's disciplinary measures have a long way to go before it can instill fear in the hearts of corrupt civil servants.