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Acting PM Blasts Opposition On Reforms

Attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Acting Prime Minister, told the Opposition that their disagreement over civil service reforms indicated they wanted to revive the corrupt practice of previous Governments. He made the
26 May 2017 10:40
Acting PM Blasts Opposition On Reforms
National Federation Party Opposition MP Biman Prasad

Attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Acting Prime Minister, told the Opposition that their disagreement over civil service reforms indicated they wanted to revive the corrupt practice of previous Governments.

He made the statement after questions were raised by National Federation Party Opposition MP Biman Prasad in Parliament yesterday.

Mr Prasad, in the oral questions segment, asked if the permanent tenure of employment was also part of the civil service reforms.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was a need for consistency in the employment process so that services were delivered well to the Fijian people.

He further labelled the question from the Opposition MP as ‘paradoxical’.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was oxymoron to say if the civil service reforms would return permanent tenure which was obviously not.

Currently only 25 per cent civil servants were on permanent tenure but, he added the other 75 per cent were on contract basis.

He said as time went by the number of civil servants on permanent tenure would decrease as most of them might apply for other positions on contract basis.

Mr Prasad than asked if the Open Merit Recruitment System would be handled by the central or individual ministry.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it would be rolled out centrally.

He then revealed that a permanent secretary in a particular ministry was involved in corrupt practices.

“One particular ministry … the permanent secretary used to take a cut of the salary of people he recruited; some of the women had to sleep with him on a regular basis.

“That is what they want to go back to, this is a fact, those who worked in the civil service in that ministry know about it.

“They don’t like to deal with the history they are trying to sensitise, that’s the problem,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He told the Opposition to deal with facts.

“…the reality is Madam Speaker the open merit recruitment system, the guidelines, and policies are public documents rolled out to the ministries.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added that Opposition didn’t have the gumption to admit the truth.

SODELPA Opposition MP Jiosefa Dulakiverata said the process of contract basis recruitment was ‘inhumane’.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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