Public Sector Reforms: 2. Outsourcing
Edited extracts from my Interview with Parmesh Chand, Permanent Secretary Public Service Commission. Vinaka, Tui, for this transcript.
Croz: Are the reforms part of the Roadmap or are they a roadmap within the \Roadmap?
Parmesh Chand: There ought to be a road map within a roadmap but at the moment it is a free for all and we are allowing it to find its own feet. The outsourcing policy that I am developing will have a road map. We cannot do everything all at once because there will be social implications. We looked at avenues for staff participation when we outsourced the security and laundry services at the Hospitals.
The security work went out to the security companies and some people were absorbed by the companies. With the laundry work, we are helping the workers to form a company and run the laundry on an outsourced contract basis. They are talking about that at the moment. So some of this work we may be able to outsource to firms formed or companies formed by staff.
Croz: So some of the staff made redundant will be able to start their own companies ?
Parmesh Chand: Yes. But it involves a lot of work because firstly we will pay them redundancy money. That money forms the cash flow needed to launch their own companies. We require a lot of advice. One options for some of them is to draw funds from the FNPF and buy equity into the company.
On their own they may not be able to do it, but if we show them the way they may be able to do it. Like the worker participation scheme in the Airport Terminal Services that do the ground handling at Nadi. They formed ATS which is 51% owned by government and 49% owned by the employees. And that company was been working well for the past 20 years. The company is jointly run by the employees and government with a board formed proportionately. Government has a say in the appointment of the CEO and how the company is run but by and large it is run by the workers. They get a share of profits and dividends.