Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quarter Reform to Rake $4.2million - January 20, 2010

Reforms in the management of Government quarters are expected to rake in $5.6m compared to the existing revenue of $1.4m, it has been confirmed.

Permanent Secretary for the Public Service, Parmesh Chand said major developments in the reform are the rental of Government quarters at market rates to both civil servants and others and this will be confined to Suva at this stage. “We will begin this process firstly through rental at market rates of the Government Quarters which are currently vacant or are undergoing renovations in Suva.” With twelve quarters in Suva chosen to pilot the reform, Chand said renovation work is almost completed and some are ready for occupation.

However , Chand clarified there will be no change in the meantime in tenancy arrangements for properties rented in districts from private landlords to house eligible civil servants.

He added there will be further consultations with relevant stakeholders before any changes are effected in private homes rented by government.

There are currently 424 privately rented properties Fiji wide for housing civil servants in the Districts in addition to existing government quarters.

Chand said Government has additionally decided that Borron House and VIP House at Berkeley Crescent be made available for hiring out on commercial basis at times when such properties are not required by Government.

The Dreaming Continues

Once again as we head into 2010, the dream's of wealth to be gained envisioned by the treasonous elite squad of Voreqe Bainimarama's knows no bounds.

This time they try to revive an old Public Service Commission nightmare and are salivating over the mostly high real estate market value of Government quarters in Suva.

Alas! If only Mr "wet-behind-the-ears-to-the-PSC" Parmesh Chand and the cow-expert that is his Chairman did some background checks before proposing this policy. Unfortunately for them both, by forcefully retiring all the people over 55 who would have possessed that institutional history, they now consequently eat humble pie by offering selective contracts at the prerogative of the mostly militarily linked Permanent Secretaries thereby killing an earlier 2009 dream of Govt savings of up 10% of GDP -- only to splurge on the Disciplined Forces (relatively speaking) in the 2010 budget).

If Parmesh Chand had done his homework like any good CEO should, he would have realized that in the 90's, under the direction of then SVT Finance Minister Jim Ah Koy (yes he does tend to have political longevity this guy), the PSC had the same dream of earning major bucks from the proposed sale of Govt quarters -- mostly the one's in the Nasese/Domain area.

Unfortunately someone forgot to check who actually owned the land and the conditions of the State Land which those Govt quarters sat on, which quickly killed that idea.

Parmesh is now reviving that idea, but this time aims to rent out those properties at the market rate. Again one would automatically assume that the same input from the landowners is duly required.

Now attempting to raise funds from assets is all very well and good, but:

these assets do not wholly belong to the Government; and
with the current stagnation of our real estate industry the market rates they are expecting, will not match the size of the pockets of the majority of those seeking housing, neither will the specifications of these residential properties match those who CAN afford it.

Unless of course they are singling out military sorts who now dot the senior posts within the civil service (and let's not forget, who were the only few citizens where honoured with a christmas bonus at our expense) -- or are, God Forbid the old military sorts who forgot to move out!

While we're on the topic, it might be useful to also remind the PSC that a recent debate over turf with Finance, particularly in relation to Asset Management remains unresolved.

Much to our depression, their badly thought out dreams continue while the people of Fiji continue to live the nightmare that is these Treasonous Terrorists.

Posted by Keep The Faith

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