Wednesday, April 01, 2009

PSC Memo wants operation budgets reduced by half

Memo wants operation budgets reduced by half

www.fijilive.com - 4/1/2009

Sai Comment :
- How is it ever possible to reduce departmental budget by 50% and expect no dire effect on public services? This would be the clearest sign the current Regime in Fiji is bankrupting the country and running down its public service while at the same time preserving its survival with new recruit to the military numbers. Fiji is rapidly submerging into financial oblivion at the illegitimate hands of the current regime which has no mandate from the people! The sooner they are removed the better it will be for our beloved country.

Government ministries and departments are to reduce their operation budgets by 50per cent, says a Public Service Commission circular.
A PSC circular 18/2009 obtained by the FijiSUN was signed by Taina Tagicakibau where permanent secretaries and head of departments were advised that cost cutting measures, are mandatory, with effect from the date (March 30) of the circular.

The circular outlines the cessation of all acting appointments, under delegated powers, including those of the Public Service Commission and freezing of all contractual appointments for locals and expatriates, including those that are on consultancy status.

It also states the discontinuation of the processing of advertised vacancies that are coordinated by various post processing units and Staff Boards; and freeze of advertisements of vacancies.

It says vacancies that have been recently advertised are to be withdrawn.

The circular advised the heads of ministries/departments to work smarter in order to reorganise and review staffing, in accordance with this instruction, and to ensure that public service delivery is not, in any way, compromised.

Another circular no. 19/2009 released yesterday, clarified the issue on the previous circular.

It stated that as of yesterday, the PSC is responsible for the new acting appointment, processing of all vacancies and advertising of vacant position while all new appointment will be determined by them.

General Secretary for the Fiji Public Service Association Rajeshwar Singh said some of the cost cutting measures were in breach of the Employment Regulation Promulgation 2007 act.

“I have written to the PSC today (yesterday) and we have raised our issues with them.

With regards to the acting appointment, workers can not be denied allowances when they are acting on a high position doing higher duties,” Mr Singh said.

“There are other issues that we raised and we are glad the salary of the civil servants and unestablished staffs are not affected.”

Fiji Islands Council Trade Unions general secretary Attar Singh said a reduction of 50 per cent could not be achieved without adversely affecting optimum staffing levels.

Mr Singh said in doing so delivery of public services would also be affected.

“We are repeatedly told that on average salaries make up around 80per cent of the government expenditure, although this may vary for individual areas,” Mr Singh said.

“Already basic services such as supply of clean water, safe sewerage disposal, basic and timely health services, efficient policing, road maintenance, etc face heavy criticism.”

He said we could expect these to worsen in the coming months if this policy directive was put into effect.


50pc cut
By MARY RAUTOWednesday,
www.fijitimes.com - April 01, 2009


ALL government ministries and department have been told to reduce operating budgets by 50 per cent.
The directive from the Public Service Commission has not gone down well with trade unions who say that delivery of service will be affected.
Dated March 30 and signed by the outgoing permanent secretary in the PSC, Taina Tagicakibau urged heads of ministries and department to work smarter, reorganise and review staffing, in accordance with the circular but to ensure that public service delivery was not in anyway compromised.
She said the decision was pursuant to a memorandum from Cabinet dated March 4.
The statement said the cost-cutting measures were mandatory with effect from the date of the circular on Monday.
The measures are the cessation of all acting appointments, under delegated powers including those of the PSC;
* Freeze of all contractual appointments for locals and expatriates, including those who are on consultancy status;
* Discontinuation of the processing of advertised vacancies that are co-ordinated by various post processing units an staff boards; and
* Freeze of advertisements of vacancies and vacancies that were recently advertised are to be withdrawn.
Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions general secretary Attar Singh said service delivery would be affected.
He said they were repeatedly told that on average sala-ries made up around 80 per cent of the government ex-penditure and that a reduction of 50 per cent could not be achieved without affecting optimum staffing levels.
Fiji Public Service Asso-ciation general secretary Ra-jeshwar Singh said he has written to the PSC chairman Dr Yunush Mohammed raising their concerns on the matter.
He said he would meet with Dr Mohammed today to discuss the implications the reductions would have on his members and services.
But, Mr Singh said, salary should not be affected and that the reduction would affect other things like telephone, electricity and the use of vehicles.
Ms Tagicakibau said "a strict review of this exercise will be undertaken, three months from the date of this circular".

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