Ganilau Resigns, Savu and Kaitani, Transparency International says Corruption Less, How Big the Civil Service

GANILAU RESIGNS. Ratu Epeli Ganilau has resigned as Acting PM and Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration. His portfolio and the Acting PM position has been taken over by Minister for Primary Industries Joketani Cokanasiga. An explanation may be expected when the PM returns from China next week.


TUI SAVU HAS TWO FACES. Looking one way he is a former Fiji lawyer now resident in Townsville, Queensland, where he is a government employed solicitor dealing mainly with indigenous cases. Looking the other way, he is an active member of the so-called Fiji Freedom and Democracy Movement who is  canvassing a regime change by armed force.

As one reader said: "That he discusses violent overthrow in Fiji while living off the Australian taxpayer is something I'm sure his employers aren't aware of and neither would many readers of your site."  This is what he wrote on a recent Matavuvale Fiji's Family (sic!) Network Forum. Of course, he's not actually advocating violence. That would make him responsible. He's just floating the idea for someone else to take up.    Click here.

The photos shows Tui Savu in white shirt and to his left Simione Kaitani, a former SDL cabinet minister implicated in the 2000 Speight Coup. Kaitani relinquished his portfolios to make way for Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, the paramount Chief of the Tovata Confederacy and leader of the Conservative Alliance that merged into Qarase's SDL, following Lalabalavu's release from prison on coup-related charges. Birds of a feather.

Tui Savu's flirtation with violence is not new. At the Fiji Law Society Conference in 1998 held at the Warwick Hotel Savu narrowly avoided censure from the FLS when he physically assaulted his wife and verbally assaulted a fellow lawyer.

CORRUPTION LESS SINCE 2006 COUP
. The Fiji Director of Transparency International Juris Gulbis, says corruption in Fiji has decreased since 2006. While Fiji has not been listed in Transparency International’s Perception of Corruption Index since the 2006 coup, Mr Gulbis says FICAC and Transparency International ensure that corruption is not rife.

“People are no longer hesitant to bring their concerns and complaints to us. At the end of the day I have to say more and more complaints lodged with us get resolved. More complaints get voiced by the people without fear or hesitation. They come to us and they freely discuss their options. They no longer feel threatened. At the end of the day people get justice.”

HOW BIG THE CIVIL SERVICE? A further reduction in civil servant numbers can be expected soon, as the Public Service Commission reviews the service to determine its optimum size and consequent restructuring that is likely to entail the realigning of roles, merger of overlapping functions, downsizing of personnel in ministries or departments of lesser significance and strengthening of human resource capabilities in areas of priority in line with relevant provisions of the People’s Charter for Change and the Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development.The exercise will take three months, with the target timing for completion being 28th February, 2011.

The review follows an  IMF recommendation to contain the wages bill. The operating cost of the Government in the past five years was $7.25billion — at least 78% of its total budget.

Comments

Maximising said…
Lately I have noticed a growing trend on this site to paint our current PM as a Man with a plan, Straight talking, A visionary, A protector and even a Saint.
Have a read of the first paragraph of his personal intent as commander of the RFMF....

"The significance of maximizing management effectiveness within RFMF will enhance the successful achievement of our organizational mission, objectives and tasks. It is imperative that we focus on enhancing and enforcing management effectiveness at all levels of Command. The aim is to maximize the management effectiveness of our financial, physical and human resources to enable us to perform our functions efficiently and effectively in accordance with our institutional rules and regulations that govern our operations. We are to maximize management effectiveness by improving our command and control structure and strengthening monitoring and reporting system. Maximizing management effectiveness is to be demonstrated through responsible command channels that will guide, and ensure we bring an acceptable return on investment to government, the United Nations and other stakeholders.”

Today I finally worked out what this maximizing management effective is. It is shuffling the boys in roles around as much as possible.
M.B.N said…
Perhaps Ganilau wants a cushy (percieved) diplomat job as well ?
sapperri said…
Can someone tell me exactly who are the cabinet ministers, how often they meet and where would I find the transcripts of any debate ?
Lets get on with it said…
By all means reduce the size of the civil service. Set a target and go for it. With a PER, unions powerless and law by decree this is once in a lifetime to make sweeping changes.

But please, at the same time reduce the size of the military. They are after all civil cervants at the end of the day and paid by tax payers money.

A 10% reduction in civil service AND a 10% reduction in RFMF sounds perfectly reasonable.
better later than never said…
umm...they have had 4 years to restructure the civil service. Why is a 'review' only happening now ?
some still above the law said…
I have a concern about the PM's back pay but the only place I can take that complaint is to God.

I agree corruption is general is probably down due to the awareness crated by FICAC. However one group remains untouchable - the RFMF top team and government ministers. Is the Police commissioner being investigated - no he got rewarded with a new role despite blowing his budget and spending millions on a personal crusade. Was our former finance minister looked at - not unil he became the outer rather than inner circle of government.
What does it mean? said…
Croz, this is all very strange, especially the way Sharon Smith Johns made the barest of announcements and said further comment had to await the PM's return from China.

All the evidence points to the whole thing being very sudden. Why else leave your main spokesperson without the adequate means to bat off what must be a wave of media enquiries from Australia and NZ?

Is this the first real evidence of what some regime critics have been claiming for weeks - a breach between Frank and the Mara/ Ganilaus? And over what? The Coconut Radio is humming tonight, that's for sure.
Alternative said…
Croz,

You have really stepped up your attack on the Australian based Freedom and Democracy Movement and perhaps rightly so given the background of some the memeber you have exposed.

However you don't pay much attention to the fact that the current Decrees and PER in Fiji do not allow for any more credible body to be formed. Yes the FFDM are fringe and hide extreme elements but the reason they get all the attention is because everyone else in Fiji has been silenced. And it is in Fiji I believe that more reasoned and practical people reside but our current PM has made it very clear his style of leadership is a MYWAY or the HIGHWAY. Speak up and the heavy are of the law or military will come down on you.
Strange indeed. said…
@ what does it mean

I agree it all seems very strange. So many changes over the past few weeks. If the PM's goal was to stir the rumor mills and get the blog traffic up so he claim the PER needs to stay then, well...he has been successful.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Maximising ... Agree it's a mouthful. Probably written by someone else. But I'm absolutely sure he has a plan. It's in the People's Charter and the Roadmap -- and in much of what I've posted on this blog.

@ Sapperi ... This is the link on the Cabinet. I don't know how often they meet, and I doubt any transcripts are available. Cabinets do not usually publish their discussion.

http://www.fiji.gov.fj/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=124&Itemid=190

@ better late ... It's been going on for quite a while now. I met the PerSec in June and published my interview with him. Check it out by writing Parmesh Chand in the "Search" facility. Some of these changes are the result of longstanding concerns about the size of Civil Service, from the Fiji Government and from international agencies like the IMF. My concern is what happens to those made redundant.

@ What does it mean? ... I agree. Very strange. But I doubt we'll be told more until the PM returns from China.
Anonymous said…
Croz,

It appears the person being deported is the Fiji Water CEO.

At first, I had thought that Fiji Water had asked the govt. to deport a competitor and Ganilau had done the honorable thing.

But, it turns out that he's 'bold stand' is in line with the common misperception that Fiji Water is a new model for social-entrepreneurship.

The truth is, they've run foul of the political maneuvering that won them their treasured 'tax-free' (or pretty close) status.

They deplete our aquifers, sell themselves as a green company, litter our shores with plastic, buy off govt. officials... and now they find themselves unable to buy the govt.

They definitely wish the SDL was in charge
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/17/3069205.htm?section=justin
Walker Texas Ranger said…
Corruption is less since December 2006?

Don't think so. The scale may be less than Natadola and Momi but in lieu we now have ORGANISED CRIME which has moved in and has a stranglehold in the same cracks. Organised Crime has corrupted the Fiji Police at very many levels and rendered them almost dysfunctional in some areas. We must hope now that the briefings and visits being made by the Commissioner of Police B-G Iowane Naivalurua will open his eyes to this and that his officers will listen carefully and attentively to what they might rather not. A dysfunctional and non-responsive Police Force is something that we cannot now afford as it will cripple the fragile economy. Impunity has taken a massive toll in endemic crime and in the waste of court time. Are cases of perjury still unresolved and convictions still outstanding? Yes, they are. Penalty now for perjury is FIVE YEARS on each count. Apply it, please, without delay.

By the way: where are we going to house all these convicted rapists, murderers, perjurors, drug dealing Dons? An Island will be required like Alcatraz of old?
Joe said…
Well done Croz. Did you work for The Fiji Times previously? It is very interesting to see that you started off with "Ganilau resigns" and immediately followed by "Tui Savu has two faces", completely bypassing the fact that Ganilau's successor Cokanasiga was involved in the "affirmative action" scam to the tune of FJD$16M, as per the auditors in 2006. I am not an advocate of FFDM, as the likes of Kaitani are the same as Cokanasiga. We have half a dozen of one and six of the other sort of thing here.
TONTO said…
@ Walker Texas Ranger....different forms of corruption - called Organised Criminal Enterprise..(OCE)

Organised Criminal Enterprise now reveals itself especially in these forms: Prison breakouts/home invasions (still), criminal intimidation especially by text message/stalking for purpose of rape/and last but by no means least: murder by hired assassin.

Sound extreme? Well, that is what we confront and we need to "Get organised" against them. Wearing blinkers is unhelpful. "Know your enemy....." (Sun Tzu - Art of War)
Walker Texas Ranger said…
@ Corporate corruption in Fiji and the historical role it has played with impunity......

Organised Criminal Enterprise (OCE) is just that: corporate corruption but not necsssarily perpetrated through a body corporate. In fact, one of its criminal elements is that the operators DO NOT HAVE A BODY CORPORATE but pretend and perjure themselves that they do. We need to be aware of this. We need to take action ..... FAST. If we do not, the entire National Enterprise: FIJI INC. will fail. Who does this is irrelevant. It must be done. Those who do it must be charged and convicted and imprisoned. For years and years we have tolerated this....no more. It is killing the Fijian Economy.
Kid Colt said…
Ultimately what the people fo Fiji need is a steady government. Not a cut and chop one, where people are put to try out their skills in a new job. Leweni was Min of Information and didnt have good communications skills. One chap who is doing a good job is Mason.. Agriculture.

But the way things are going ... to coin GWB
"To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say, 'Well done,'" he told Yale graduates before breaking into a grin. "To the 'C' students, I say, 'You, too, can be president of the United States.'"
TIME
King of the Crocs said…
It's good for people to be reminded how much of a vicious thug Tui Savu really is. The idea of him being a leading figure in a "freedom and democracy" movement is a total joke. When his wife defies him, he beats her. When anyone else crosses him, he abuses and threatens them. None of this is known in Australia, where Savu plays the injured party and all round Mr Nice Guy. The truth is he's not a fit and proper person to be a practicing lawyer and if the facts were known to the Queensland authorities, he'd be struck off.

Tui Savu doesn't believe in democracy at all. He's an avowed racial supremacist who held high office in Sitiveni Rabuka's SVT and is now points man in Australia for Laisenia Qarase's SDL. The Queensland Government should wake up to the fact that this dangerous extremist is on the public payroll and sack him. By advocating violence in Fiji, he's an affront to community values in both countries.

Fortunately for everyone, Savu can never return to his homeland, even when democracy is restored. His support for the violent overthrow of the regime guarantees a severe butaraki if he dares to show his face at Nadi Airport ever again. The brute is an exile for life among the other dangerous, cold blooded reptiles of North Queensland, where he belongs.
JJ said…
Let us use some perspective here, a Minister has resigned, the first Minister to resign in a long time, change is good, there is nothing sinister about his departure. Government does not crumble because one man decides to leave, regardless of this name or title.
snoopy said…
Ganilau's resignation is such a shame. Just when the Govt is gaining some ground they have this unrequired drama. One of the problems with the Govt is that there is not enough stability - there are too many changes.
Corruption Fighter said…
Croz

You claim Tui Savu "physically assaulted his wife and verbally assaulted a fellow lawyer" at the Law Society Conference in 1998.

Is this documented somewhere? Was he convicted (assault is a crime)?

I hope you won't say that you were told by someone who's an impeccable source. Blogs could all say the same thing about reports they receive, which you dismiss as rumours.

You also try to blacken Tui Savu's name by saying he's been pictured with "Simione Kaitani, a former SDL cabinet minister implicated in the 2000 Speight Coup".

Being in a picture is one thing, but what about Inoke Kubuabola, who Bainimarama made his Minister for Foreign Affairs? Inoke was 'implicated' in the Speight coup, along with Isikia Savua, who Frank wanted to pay for helping with his charter process (only an outcry stopped him from doing this).
Easy answer said…
Corruption Fighter. comparing Inoke Kubuabola with Tui Savu is like comparing apples and pears. Kubuabola doesn't try to hide his past and tells everyone he had a change of heart about the nationalist cause. Tui Savu actively tries to hide his past and with other coup supporters like Simione Kaitani, cons well meaning people into supporting "freedom and democracy" when their real agenda is the restoration of the racist platform of the SDL. No comparison at all.
Proud fijian said…
A team has goals that needs to be achieved.

A member has to play as part of the team if he is not ready to play his role then he should leave.

Ratu Epeli has shown the honorable thing and resigned. What ever relationship he had with the Fiji Water guy was a hindrance to the goal of the the government.

As usual with most foreign investing in Fiji all they provide as a benefit is employment.

Fiji needs to maximise its benefits with these foreign companies.
Anonymous said…
@ Proud Fijian:

You state that all that investors in Fiji provide is the benefit of employment? ALL......? What are you thinking of? Have you the remotest idea of what it takes to create just ONE job in Fiji? Let alone tens of jobs, or hundreds? What about a just reward for risk? Venture Capitalism - it used to be called? It roved and opened up the entire world - in the XVth century. No one in their right mind would suggest that the only benefit of investment "was just jobs". GDP - an annual rate of growth of MORE THAN 6% is required just to provide jobs for our school leavers. How do you propose to create them? What capital of yours do you plan to invest? Tell us - tell us now.
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