Drought, New Diplomatic Missions, MSG, PSC and Public Entity Reforms, Cane Grower Protest
DROUGHT CONTINUES. Intermittent showers in the Central and Eastern divisions have replenished water sources but the dry spell continues to affect areas in the Western and Northern divisions, and it expected to last for the next few months. Water is being delivered to Rakiraki town dwellers and the Agriculture Department plans to dig more bore holes in the West, the worst affected region. Photo: Fiji Times.
FIJI SPREADS ITS DIPLOMATIC WINGS. Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola says the "discriminating and isolationist policies" imposed on Fiji by its "traditional allies and some regional organizations international organizations" have forced the "realignment of Fiji’s Foreign Missions to effect revised foreign policy priorities." It is in this context that Cabinet has approved the opening of Missions in Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil, in 2011.-- Based on 2010 No: 1370/CAB.
SELF SUSPENSION. Fiji has temporarily suspended itself from all formal meetings of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has announced. The move is to allow the MSG leaders the necessary breathing space and autonomy to resolve the outstanding issue of the chairmanship.
PUBLIC SERVICE SEEKS UPGRADE. The PSC is about to conduct a major review of minimum qualifications, skills and experience needed for entry and promotion in the public service. PSC Chairman Josefa Serulagilagi says changes in educational qualifications and the need to "recruit and retain the best and brightest" have been the main reasons for the review that is expected to be in place by January next year. Submissions are being sought from all ministries, departments and agencies. -- Based on 2010 No: 1381/PSC.
REORGANIZATION OF PUBLIC ENTITIES. Newly appointed Permanent Secretary for Public Enterprises, Elizabeth Powell, said the Ministry is reorganizing a number of public, government, quasi-government and partly-owned government enterprises, commercial statutory authorities and other government entities to improve management, increase efficiency and, where applicable, increase profits. The areas affected mainly are roads, water supply, and health services.
Two other majority-owned entities, to be monitored by the Public Enterprises Ministry, are the Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited with core roles as managing mahogany forests and processing of mahogany, and Pacific Fishing Company Limited, in association with a joint venture partner with Bumblebee, has core roles in processing and exporting of canned fish both locally and abroad with the USA as the major market.
CANE GROWERS WANT FSC BOARD RESIGNATION. FCGA Secretary Bala Dass has called for the resignation of the Fiji Sugar Corporation Board, saying its members should be held responsible for problems at the sugar mills and the failure of the mill upgrade. "Things were bad last year and promises were made that the mill would be improved this year with the upgrade program," he said.Former Fiji Labour Party MP Gaffar Ahmed supported the call, saying all the current policies of the FSC Board seemed to be "pro-miller" with growers' interests and concerns left largely unattended. "I'm not the only one that's fed up. Growers from all districts are fed up of the current debacle that calls itself the FSC board." he said.
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