Gutless Corruption, Upgrading Service & Leadership, Outsourcing, Sucking Up to the PM? Super Weather Station

Gutless Wonder
N217. GUTLESS WONDER. In an anonymous letter to the moderate anti-government blog Fiji Today, a businessman says corruption in Suva is twice as bad as it used to be.  He cites having to tip an electrician a $100 to put in a new power board over the weekend and doubted the FEA saw any of the money.  He said "There is no point in reporting it to the police as I am paying one of them to keep an eye on my business in his off time."

Further, he said,  "Any business deal these days has a part that is organised in cash so no VAT or tax is paid or some side deal is done to advantage one party or the other. I have a block of cash sitting at home for such occasions and I consider myself one of the honest ones."  Really!

Honest, no way. He's part of the corruption, and despite the urgings of the new Police Commissioner, the FICAC and others to report corruption — and despite several recent court cases showing that such matters are taken to court — his only effort to reduce corruption is to write an anonymous letter to an anti-government blog.  If he's really concerned about corruption (and one doubts this when he is part it), there were other — and more effective — options. Checking on a FEA worker is hardly likely to see him detained by the military. Not even the anti-government bloggers would think that.

N218. UPGRADING THE SERVICE IN PUBLIC. Some 165 evaluators are to be trained this year to evaluate the service provided by Ministries and Departments. Public Service Permsec Parmesh Chand said all government agencies need to embrace a culture of quality in our bid to bring about improvements in efficiency and productivity as part of the reforms. This year, 33 Ministries, Departments and Agencies will participates in the Service Excellence programme, the Service Excellence initiative started in 2005. Pillar 4 of the People's Charter calls for an improved public service. -- Based on No:0572/PSC

N219. LEADERSHIP TRAINING. Permanent Secretaries are currently attending a five day Leadership Training workshop to assist leaders to develop organisations that can effectively recognize, relate and assimilate the global shifts in culture, social structures, technology and information.

Chief Guest and PSC Commissioner, Ms Fusi Vave, said today’s Public Service is very different from what it was 10 years ago. It is more sophisticated, organized and transnational in nature and there are new challenges posed by the on-going advances in technology. Pillar 3 of the Peeple's Charter calls for improvements in leadership.  I make this point because a number of anti-government bloggers have asked to see the Roadmap. For those prepared to look,  ongoing events such as the workshop, the upgrading of the public service, the smokeless stoves, poultry training and dalo production, reported in this posting, are all small but essential steps in the Roadmap, and all can be traced to one of another pillar of the Charter. Based on No:0561/PSC.

N220. OUTSOURCING TO REDUCE COSTS. Another example of public service reforms aimed at increasing efficiency is the intended outsourcing of selected services to the private and non-state sector. PermSec Parmesh Chand said the move "will help contain the size of the civil service and its operating costs; improve efficiencies in service delivery in terms of timing and responsiveness; enable greater employee participation and private sector led growth; and to provide efficient and value for money services to the tax payer."

A Central Coordinating and Administrative Committee on Outsourcing (CCACO) has been formed to oversee the all  aspects of the policy and a thorough cost-benefit analysis will be conducted done before any project is outsourced. Outsourcing may be recommended in two types of contract: infrastructural/works and services. Committee members include the PermSec for Public Enterprise,Public Service, Works, Labour, Finance, and Trade and Industry. The Committee will report to the Prime Minister through the Permanent Secretary for Public Enterprises. -- Based on No.0600/PSC.

N221. YES SIR, YES SIR, THREE BAGS FULL. These words from the English nursery rhythm Ba, Ba, Black Sheep are usually taken to describe the behaviour of an obsequious or craven subordinate. One of my sources says this could be happening with some of the new municipal authorities that are so keen to prove to the PM they are more efficient than the old elected councils that their short-term cost cutting measures will result in much higher cost later if basic repairs and maintenance are not carried out.  I'd be pleased to hear from readers who may have evidence of heedless cost-cutting.

N222. THE NEW $3m WEATHER STATION AT LABASA has state-of-the-art S-Band weather radar that is is capable of weather surveillance up to 480km which covers the area north to Rotuma and Futuna. Project management by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology will cost $180,000. The project is expected to make Fiji less vulnerable to climatic disasters and in this way safeguard lives and the economy.-- Based on No:0599/MOI.


Seeking the roadmap still said…
Granted there is evidence of general progress on some of the charter pillars. Some would argue it is all basic stuff governments SHOULD be doing but I agree it is more than previous governments WHERE doing.

The concern about the roadmap and the lack of any published details is related to the planned RETURN TO DEMOCRACY. This is where it would be useful to have the actual roadmap published. After all we have been told it was shared with our Pacific neighbours so why is it so secret not to share it with the public of Fiji.

On RETURNING to DEMOCRACY I see very little evidence this is progressing. The PER is still in place stopping any sensible discussion. The Military are in control of all major decision making and hold the majority of senior public service roles. Government decision making is hidden from us all. No public comments are welcome and any dissenting voices silenced, sometimes with violence.

Croz I get your point about progress being linked to the Charter and maybe some sort of Roadmap but until the return to democracy details are made available I will continue to call for the publishing of the actual roadmap, the lifting of the PER and some form of inclusive dialogue to start immediately.

Otherwise I fear we are all just being taken for a ride - including pro government supporters like yourself Croz.

My calls are not new and this blog has simialr comments from many readers going back 12 months (on the roadmap) and longer on the PER and dialogue. Is the PM deaf, dumb or just far too comfortable and arrogant to listen ?
yea yea said…
I was suprised to see so few comments on the CCF part 2. I wonder if people in general are just giving up and accepting we will have a military government for a long long time.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Seeking and Yea .... I'm in total agreement with both of you. I think I'll republish my earlier suggestions for interrogations (with the video suggestion added) and have one or more postings taken from Akuila Part II to see if we can conjure up more comment. I think Bainimarama is genuine about the Strategic Framework for Change (that derives from the Roadmap) and dialoque will commence late this year or early next. But I'm not too sure how inclusive dialogue will be or what will be its parametres. Again, I'm sure elections are intended for 2014 but I suspect the SDL and FLP will be excluded unless they can convince the government they have reformed, are genuinely multi-racial, and will sincerely work for a better Fiji. We shouldn't hold our breath.
sara'ssista said…
I am in agreement with the thrust of both comments, I am a little suprised by the attack in comment
N217. It is as if Croz must defend this regime at every turn and this comment was not even posted on his Blog!! The idea that in a military regime you just pop in to the local cops and make a complaint is a little quaint isn't it. Given ther a SO many areas out of bounds for the common man to complain about, certainly publicly.
Lame Duck CCF said…
The lack of comments on Yabaki's rhetoric is that CCF is seen as lacking courage and conviction. You either support democracy or you don't? You either support dictatorial gun toting regimes or you don't? You can't do both and have any credibility.
Rambling on about dialogue with a dictatorship is naive and deceitful.
There is inceasingly very little chance of open elections and reurn to democracy in 2014 - Fiji will return to freedom again but pathway to this freedom will not be dictated by Bainimarama. The free world will see to that.
Delusions of Grandeur said…
@N219 how many women Permanent Secretary are there? On what evidence does Ms. Vave base her assumption that today's public service is more sophisticated, organised and transnational in nature? than it was 10years ago? Wasn't she a PS during that period?
Croz Walsh said…
@ Lame Duck... Oh, how wrong you are with your simplistic either/or, black/white logic, even assuming, as you imply, that democracy existed under the Qarase government. Life and indeed most human relationships are an ongoing sequence of compromises and middle positions. The CCF, far from being the lame duck you claim it is, is the only forthright non-government organization in Fiji that is seeking a way forward in difficult circumstances. In the Pacific it's called talanoa to achieve progress, and hopefully further down the road consensus. I call it courageous commonsense.

As for your reliance on the so-called Free World, Fiji will decide its own futures, vinaka.

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