Letters

Lawyer’s comment

Written By : Rajend Naidu Sydney. Prominent lawyer Richard Naidu said at the recent accountants congress that instead of blaming lawyers the PSC should tidy up its disciplinary system to
17 Jun 2008 12:00

Written By : Rajend Naidu Sydney. Prominent lawyer Richard Naidu said at the recent accountants congress that instead of blaming lawyers the PSC should tidy up its disciplinary system to ensure public servants are given natural justice.
He was responding to the claim that lawyers interfered in the public service disciplinary process and this prevented the PSC from dispensing instant justice to wayward civil servants.
I support Mr Naidu’s view but wish to make the following qualification.
The question of giving public servants natural justice can be approached in two ways. One is to merely go through the motions so that PSC can claim it has done all it it required to do. The other is to bring genuine comitment to the disciplinary process to ensure the rights and welfare of the public servant are respected.
Richard would know from his own direct experience with the bureacrats in the PSC just how good they are in doing the former.
It is this approach which is the source of the problem in the existing disciplinay regime in the Fiji public sercive.
Lawyers are engaged to provide a modicuum of protection against the arbitrariness which often is the hallmark of the disciplinary process.The PSC regulations and procedures do not override a public servant’s rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. The PSC bureacrats tend to forget this in their enthusiasm to send workers home.




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