Analysis

Bring Service Back Into Civil Service

The Fijian public does not expect the civil servants to roll out the red carpet for them. They only expect to be treated with dignity and want correct information in a timely manner.
15 Aug 2020 12:15
Bring Service Back Into Civil Service

Analysis:

Since we highlighted the plight of the budding Nausori entrepreneur who was given a run around during his quest to pay for Cigarette Licence, we have been inundated with calls from people, sharing their own struggles with our civil service.

Their stories ranged from having to change banks for social welfare payments, the recertification process, issues they have faced with the Police Force, etc.

First, some good news. The budding Nausori businessman was able to pay for his cigarette licence after his struggle was highlighted by the Fiji Sun. When he went back to see what could be done to get the licence, he was served very efficiently by the same enforcement officers and the application form which needed to be amended, had been amended.

Most of these issues are easily solved. For example, one social welfare recipient only needed someone, anyone to explain to her which bank should she have her account in. According to her, the social welfare officers were less than hospitable and she was treated like a child.

All she wanted was for someone to take out five minutes of their time to talk to her and tell her about the changes. She had listened to the Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Veena Bhatnagar on FBC’s Talkback show and got her questions answered.

But, she feels that the responsibility should be of every civil servant to be aware of the changes in policy and they need to be able to inform in a civil manner.

The Fijian public do not expect the civil servants to roll out the red carpet for them.

They only expect to be treated with dignity and want correct information in a timely manner.

Over the past few days, we have in fact assisted dozens of Fijians who needed clarity on a number of issues. Some of the comments we have received in recent days have included observations that there are elements within our civil service who deliberately make things difficult for the Fijian public.

Why would they do that? Some callers have claimed that people within the civil service are politically motivated.

This is where the civil service reforms become very important. We need to hold people accountable and need to replace those who are doing a disservice to the people whom they have been hired to serve.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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