NEW FIJI NATIONAL COUNCIL TO HAVE 45 MEMBERS

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 4) – The proposed National Council for Building a Better Fiji (NCBBF) will have a total membership of 45, the interim regime has revealed.

It will comprise members of a number of civil society organisations, provincial councils and the Government.

Permanent secretary in the Prime Minister's office, Parmesh Chand said 13 invitees out of the 24 had so far confirmed their participation in the council.

He said there were a few who had declined the offer whereas quite a number of others were undecided due to fear of travel bans.

He added there were 8 nominees from the Minister for Fijian Affairs to represent the 14 provinces.

"There will be 3 more invites sent to represent the grassroots people," Chand said.

He said the duration of the membership was as long as their services would be required for the development of the People's Charter for Change and Progress, and thereafter for pursuance of dialogue, consensus building, coordination and monitoring of charter implementation.

He confirmed the first meeting of the council had been scheduled for January 16.

Chand said preparatory work including the deployment of required civil servants to man the secretariat was being pursued in earnest.

He said five positions had also been advertised in the Technical and Administrative Support Secretariat (TASS), and would be appointed outside of the civil service.

He said the five posts include the head of TASS, 3 national task team coordinators, and a head of public relations and media team.

"The task team coordinators will focus on 3 key areas that is good governance, growing the economy and social, cultural, identity, and nation building," Chand said.

"Their first task will be to prepare the report on the state of the nation and the economy. This report will provide us with a comprehensive stock-take diagnosis of the nature and depth of the problems which the nation faces," he said.

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