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Shine a Light: Our Locals Vs The Foreign Expats

Fiji offers competitive packages for these expatriates. Expatriate CEOs are on salaries between $300,000 and $500,000 and permanent secretaries are paid be­tween $220,000 and $260,000 annu­ally for a three-year contract.
21 Nov 2021 16:21
Shine a Light: Our Locals Vs The Foreign Expats
A drone photo of the Government Building in Suva. Photo: Leon Lord

Fiji offers competitive packages for these expatriates.

Expatriate CEOs are on salaries between $300,000 and $500,000 and permanent secretaries are paid be­tween $220,000 and $260,000 annu­ally for a three-year contract.

Apart from these, there are also housing, transport and travel allow­ances. Their housing allowance is as much as $4000 or more a month for CEOs.

These expatriates have been re­cruited to lift levels of performance.

The theme is to make Fiji inter­national standard, not just Pacific Islands standards.

But the lucrative packages don’t seem to be working. So, why then is there a high string of expatriate turnovers?

In 2016, the Public Service Com­mission (PSC) chairman, Vishnu Mohan, announced the appoint­ment of five expatriate permanent secretaries.

They were:

  • Alison Burchell (Ministry of Ed­ucation, Heritage and Arts);
  • Ewan Perrin (Ministry of Com­munications and Information Technology);
  • Paul Bayly (Ministry of Infra­structure and Transport);
  • Joshua Wycliffe (Ministry of Wa­terways and Environment); and
  • Philip Davis (Ministry of Health and Medical Services).

Four of these permanent secretar­ies left citing personal reasons or family commitments, local media reported. The only one currently serving in his post is Mr Wycliffe.

Former Ministry of Foreign Af­fairs Permanent Secretary, Robin Nair, said PSC had carried out a fair and transparent recruitment of these permanent secretaries.

The positions were advertised both locally and internationally. Mr Nair said at times the PSC did two to three interviews of people they were interested in.

Mr Nair was one of the permanent secretaries also appointed in 2016.

He said these expatriates were pro­fessionals with a wealth of knowl­edge in their respective fields

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 APPOINTMENT AND REMOVAL OF PERMANENT SECRETARIES

Article 126 of Fiji’s Constitution establishes the PSC as the body re­sponsible for the appointment of the permanent secretaries.

PSC is an independent body ap­pointed by the president. It is sup­posed to be free of any ministerial influence. The focal point of its re­sponsibility is limited to managing permanent secretaries.

Its constitutional functions are:

  • Appoint the PS with the agree­ment of the Prime Minister;
  • Remove the PS with the agree­ment of the PM; and
  • Institute any disciplinary action against the PS.

…. to read the full account from our Shine A Light Investigative Reporter and Editor Ivamere Nataro by subscribing to the Fiji Sun e-edition.

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  • Shine A Light is the Fiji Sun Investigative Project

Feedback: ivamere.nataro@fijisun.com.fj

 



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