Saturday, September 25, 2010

Civil Servants reminded that they are servants, not masters

Sai's Comments:
  • While I loath the messenger as an illegal imposition on the public service, I do support the message that civil servants "need to be constantly reminded that they are servants and not masters."
  • As a young boy growing up in the village, I often witness civil servants arriving to carry out their duties and being lauded as powerful and important visitors. They are put up in the best house while the rest of the family sleep in their cooking house, and get the best food. Often each clan or division of the village taking turns to cater for their meals the whole duration they're there. For those carrying out extensive work such as a building water tanks, their stay can stretch to months.
  • I know this only too well as my father was the Village Headman (Turaga ni Koro) tasked with looking after the civil servants as the village administrator. How I often grumbled at being fed with food not as tasty or plentiful as those offered to the civil servants or having to sleep out in the cooking house! In saying this, I must acknowledge that often, but not always, civil servants who come for long stays often bring some supplies to supplement the contributions of the village.
  • While the villagers happily see this as part and parcel of being good hosts, what is often disturbing is the obvious sense of self importance some civil servants place on their position and somehow expect to be treated is exactly the same manner as chiefs etc..It is undoubtly a carry over from the colonial days when civil servants were Europeans and were somehow revered by villagers for some strange reasons in addition to being white skinned.
  • Any change in this culture and attitude of civil servants will be very much welcomed in villagers. If this changed had taken place much earlier, it may well ensured I never missed out again on my usual share of the tastiest fish and yam and the comfort of my own bed!!! O sobo na gauna! Alas the time!

Fiji Village News - 25/09/2010 

Civil servants have been told once again that they need to be constantly reminded that they are servants and not masters.

The Commissioner Eastern, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga told the Heads of government departments in the Central Division at their quarterly meeting in Nausori yesterday to emphasize the need of change in attitude while performing their duties. 

Colonel Tikoitoga said that often when civil servants visit rural areas they easily forget their status as servants to people once accorded with special treatment from the vanua.

He said these results in false promises and information given to the people.

The half day meeting was attended by Provincial Administrators from Naitasiri, Serua, Tailevu, Namosi and Rewa with respective heads of departments in the Central Division and discussions centred on priority developments that need to be implemented in the division.

Colonel Tikoitoga told the heads of government departments that they need to alert the commissioner's office and all other departments on their activities so that they can all work collectively to ensure maximum results.

He discouraged department heads to go solo on their visits to rural areas.

Meanwhile the Roko Tui Serua, Setefano Osonamoli said that the integrated approach will maximize government's resources and ensure developments are successfully implemented. 

He said all departments need to take this approach seriously and sing the same tune as the way forward for better developments in Fiji.

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