No need to ‘copy’ Singapore’s civil service
www.fijilive.com - 06 JUN 2008
There is no need for us to visit Singapore to find ways of how Fiji can improve efficiency in the civil service, says a former Education minister. Nelson Delailomaloma, who was part of Laisenia Qarase’s interim regime after the 2000 coup said our civil service has a long history of inefficiency. “It is multi-layered, there are about 9-10 layers from the permanent secretary down to the clerical officers and to the PAs and to the secretaries,” he said.He made these comments at a panel discussion in Suva yesterday on the theme ‘The economic challenges and lessons to raise Fiji’s competitiveness’.Delailomaloma proposed that the civil service and players in the private sector alike should ensure it was customer-focused, an organisation with a flat structure and high productivity.He said productivity was “absolutely” essential for economic success.“What we need is a restructure in the civil service. For the sake of the people in the civil service themselves, people there have the abilities of doing whatever there is that needs to be done to restructure the civil service, so that it becomes much more effective in their decision then it is at this point in time,” Delailomaloma said.He said he also believed that people actively involved in politics should be well equipped with a vast knowledge of economics to assure the country’s economic growth.Governments’ inefficiencies and near-zero productivity is a result of policy-makers who lacked knowledge of national economic development, he said.He added that in the past, some organisations were independently resourced and operated, which indicated that there were sufficient people to create those things needed to promote the idea of productivity.“Now, I wonder therefore, quite often, whether people who have been determining our policies in government in relation to economic development make it understandable,” Delailomaloma said.“…. let’s insist that those who stand for politics have a university degree in economics before they can qualify,” he said.“This will allow them to be able to understand what economic development is all about, what national development is all about,” he told participants at the Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji (TPAF)-organised productivity symposium. Participants included chief executive officers and executives from both the public and private sector.