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A-G Calls For Need For Meritocracy

Appointing people for the sake of appointment, and who are without merit, can prove to be quite detrimental to organisations. This was stressed by the Attorney-General and the Minister for
17 Aug 2015 13:11
A-G Calls For Need For Meritocracy
Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Appointing people for the sake of appointment, and who are without merit, can prove to be quite detrimental to organisations.

This was stressed by the Attorney-General and the Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, during the Fiji Business Forum on Saturday.

This followed request for policies to be introduced to have women representation on various boards.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there must be fundamental philosophy about it and it must be merit-based.

“There must be a threshold everybody needs to follow. Most countries have suffered under those kinds of policies,” he said.

“If we have merit-based appointments and they meet the threshold, even the women out there, because that instils confidence.

“The ordinary Fijian just wants to be served. Therefore we need the best people to get the job done.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said what was more important was to have a proper and transparent selection criteria in assessing the applicants.

“Maybe, I am not saying it is, but maybe we have not had more women because the process of selection has not necessarily been right,” he said.

“But I think we need to change the dialogue. The discourse needs to be changed.

“What we need to say is let’s have a proper transparent process, proper selection criteria, a selection process that is transparent.”

He used the Attorney General’s Chambers as an example where they now have introduced two or three criteria for selection of new lawyers.

As a result, the past two intakes, has seen majority female lawyers being recruited as opposed to male.

Five out of seven lawyers in the last intake were female and four out of five in the previous intake were female.

Therefore, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum pointed it was more important to get the selection criteria right in order to get the right people as opposed to implementing policies to meet minimum numbers.

“So I think the whole discourse about saying let’s have more women, we should be saying what the PM is saying, let’s have meritocracy,” he said.

“Meritocracy must be linked to transparency. So the transparency of appointment must be there. That is what we all need to adhere to.”

Feedback: rachael.nath@fijisun.com.fj

 


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