SUNBIZ

PM Says Civil Servant Performance To Come Under Greater Scrutiny

Civil servants were yesterday put on notice by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that their performances will now come under greater scrutiny. Mr Bainimarama has confirmed the Government is about
18 Apr 2015 07:47
PM Says Civil Servant Performance To Come  Under Greater Scrutiny

Civil servants were yesterday put on notice by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that their performances will now come under greater scrutiny.

Mr Bainimarama has confirmed the Government is about to embark on a major reform of the Civil Service across the board with the assistance of the World Bank.

These comments were made yesterday as Mr Bainimarama opened the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority-organised CEOs Forum at the Holiday Inn Suva.

“Across Government, we need to lift our game and perform much better,” he stressed.

“There are a number of notable problem areas such as Immigration and Town & Country Planning.”

“But every civil servant needs to be put on notice that their performances will come under greater scrutiny.

“These reforms are vital for the future of Fiji. This Government has a vision to take our nation to the next level, to put us on the path to become a highly efficient and productive modern nation-state.”

Mr Bainimarama said attitudinal change was the thing that was most important.

“Whether it is in an organisation like FRCA or any other Government department or state enterprise or the private sector,” he said.

 

FRCA complaints

Meanwhile, Mr Bainimarama has stated the actions and attitude of some Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority staff members has let the organisation and Fijians down.

He revealed that unfortunately, they continue to receive complaints about the poor professional conduct of some FRCA officers.

Mr Bainimarama stressed FRCA’s job is to be enthusiastic in raising the revenue that required as a nation for programme of service delivery.

“But that enthusiasm should not extend to behaving in an inappropriate or unlawful manner,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama has reminded every FRCA officer: “Yes, your job is to extract the revenue Government needs to do its own job.

“But you must always regard the taxpayer as a customer – as in any other business – who deserves to be treated in a professional manner and with consideration and respect.

“I ask you all to examine your own behaviour in this regard. Because frankly, we are still getting far too many complaints about FRCA and we need to see a change in the organisation’s culture for the better.”

Mr Bainimarama has assured of redress for those who have been aggrieved by the actions of Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority.

“These complaints are based not only on the unfair treatment of taxpayers but on the inconsistency of certain decisions and unnecessary delays,” he said.

 

Highlighting issues

To tackle this, the Prime Minister has instructed the Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, to ensure that FRCA redoubles its efforts to address a number of serious shortcomings.

Mr Bainimarama urged the private sector representatives to tell the Minister for Finance where there are problems with FRCA.

“I know many of you hesitate because of fear of victimisation. But I assure you now that if you come forward, you will be protected. If you do not tell us, how will we ever improve?” he said.

But while he believes the private sector must be treated fairly and with greater consideration, he reiterated FRCA would be relentless in requiring them to comply with their tax obligations.

 

Task for FRCA

Mr Bainimarama has assigned FRCA the task of meeting what he referred to as “three basic objectives”.

The first is to have transparency in their operations and in their dealings with taxpayers.

Second was consistency in their application of the tax laws and in their approach to compliance- to do their jobs without fear or favour but also do them better.

And thirdly efficiency to finally put a stop to a culture of mediocrity, keep up with developments in the world of commerce and taxation and aspire to world-class performance.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 




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