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PM raises a number of issues with Permanent Secretaries

February 1, 2019 8:17 am

Permanent Secretaries have been reminded by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that their salaries are all paid by taxpayers.

While speaking during the Permanent Secretary Retreat in Sofitel Resort last night, Bainimarama says the Civil Service is far from perfect as its living with a damaging legacy of privilege, nepotism and outright corruption that once plagued the governance of the country.

Bainimarama says there are still some civil servants who are not team players and are more concerned with their individual position.

“Friendships are fine around the grog bowl, but when you get to work, you are an objective professional. You treat everyone alike. You discipline everyone to the same standard. Because taxpayer dollars are not intended to sustain anyone’s clique, and just because someone is a civil servant, doesn’t mean they are entitled to taxpayer paid salaries for life.”

The PM stresses that in the short-term, they can expect some feathers to be ruffled and at times, it will get political.

“You may be unfairly attacked or unjustly portrayed, especially on Facebook. You may have staff in your ministries leak information to the media and to politicians. You may have your statements taken totally out of context for the sake of an attention-grabbing headline. To that, I say welcome to the club. But the clear difference is that you aren’t politicians. You must remain above the political fray, as impartial servants of the public.”

Bainimarama also reminded the Permanent Secretaries that if anyone makes an unfair statement about how the civil service functions, or if they tell an outright lie about the state of affairs, it’s their duty to correct the record.

According to Bainimarama he has just launched a Facebook page where he will be speaking directly to the Fijian people on a much more regular basis.