Thursday, February 07, 2008

$2.4m for charter council - 2/6/2008

The budget allocation of $2.4million is the minimum needed by the National Council for Building a Better Fiji to complete its work within a 10-month period.
Responding to concerns raised about the huge sum allocated for the NCBBF and proposed People’s Charter for Change and Progress, NCBBF chairman John Samy said the allocation would meet the cost of salaries, particularly for public servants deployed to work full-time in the technical support secretariat, to mobilise other local and international expertise.
He said the allocation would also fund public outreach, education and consultation activities.
Mr Samy said more resources were needed for specialised expertise which would assist in the accomplishment of duties assigned to the three National Task Teams and to ensure the process of formulating the draft charter was fully participatory, inclusive and consultative.
“For the NCBBF secretariat to work at full strength with due efficiency and effectiveness, we would need to be adequately resourced. The national council members are aware of and very much concerned about this,” said Mr Samy.
He said the charter initiative was a national renewal and nation building undertaking which would address deep-rooted problems of the country. “To achieve this there is the need to build broad national consensus on how these problems must be addressed over the medium to long term,” he said. Mr Samy said although there were critics and opponents of the NCBBF and the charter initiative, the secretariat received a lot of support and positive feedback from the grassroots.
This, he said, was evident from the reports of their public outreach teams that had been explaining the charter process to the communities since June last year.
Mr Samy added the secretariat also received letters providing constructive suggestions and expressing support for the NCBBF and the charter initiative.

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