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Civil service reforms to reduce cost of government

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec. 7, 2008) – Fiji’s interim government hopes to save FJ$21 million [US$ 11.4 million] by cutting over 1,300 positions as part of civil service reforms.

While speaking at the Civil Service Excellence Awards Friday night, interim Indigenous Affairs minister Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said "the ten percent reduction exercise to reduce the cost of operating the government machinery, is one of the many reform initiatives that is currently being implemented by the Public Service. Through this exercise, a reduction of a little over 1,300 positions have been identified to be disestablished," he told civil servants.

He said the pressure to reform the civil service was due to the alarming trend in Government expenditure.

The growing size of the Public Service and the related salary, wage bills and overhead costs was denying expenditure on other areas of importance such as capital works and the private sector, he said.

"This is the reason why we re-introduced the CSE awards, so public servants can be motivated to do their work diligently and be recognized for the hard work that is done," he said.

Nailatikau said "one key theme for the 2009 budget must necessarily be continuity, to continue but vigorously implement the reforms outlined in the 2008 budget" quoting the interim Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama’s budget address.

He added Government will continue with the reforms and next year will see the emergence of a civil service which is driven by productivity and has a modern approach to delivering services to people.

On a night, where civil servants were dressed in colourful bula attire, the Prisons and Correctional Services walked away with two awards, the Achievement and the Special Award for their initiative, the yellow ribbon project.

The Ministry of Education was the other recipient of the Special Award for their work in improving rural education.


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