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Opinion, Opinion

EDITORIAL:Failure Of Field Officers To Perform Drives People To See Prime Minister

EDITORIAL:Failure Of Field Officers To Perform Drives People To See Prime Minister
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama speaks with Jaynesh Kumar (left)and Pritesh Chand (middle),at Parliament on September 4, 2017. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga
September 06
09:57 2017

Two men had travelled down from Nadi to meet  Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama because they knew he would help them.

Their worry was the time it was taking to process their application for Rural Service Licence, an application made months ago.

But why did they need to reach out to the Prime Minister? What is it that they needed the head of government to intervene of their behalf? Because somebody was sitting on their application, somebody was sleeping on their job.

This has become a norm in some Government departments and statutory bodies- their inefficiencies and lack of care.  They drive people like Jainesh Kumar and Pritesh Chand into frustration.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. So the two men travelled to Suva to see the Prime Minister.

It is good their grievance was addressed by the Prime Minister. But this is not the job of  the Prime Minister. Voreqe Bainimarama is a busy man. But he will not turn people away because helping people is in his nature.

It’s a sad indictment on those workers who are paid by taxpayers fund to serve the people.

In this case, they are from the Land Transport Authority who are paid to efficiently process such applications.

It is a shame that people have had to turn to Mr Bainimarama directly for relief.

It is amazing that he takes time from his busy schedule to attend to people and their concerns. He is easily accessible to many people. No other Prime Minister before him had done this.

It appears some bad aspects of the old cuture in the civil service and statutory organisations still remain. We are all hoping that the reforms now being introduced will change the mentality of employees.

There is still a lot to be done to lift customer service in some areas. Poor customer service has been plaguing many statuary bodies and Government departments for decades and this must stop.

People like Jainesh Kumar and Pritesh Chand did not need to travel to Suva from Nadi to get answers on their RSL applications. The Government has been working hard to decentralise its operations by taking services to the people closer to where they live.

But those new offices and branches are useless if the people who man them to serve the public, are failing to deliver.

The officers concerned must be held accountable.

Such inefficiency should never be tolerated.



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