5 Jul 2007

Fiji interim admnistration defends use of military officers in public service jobs

9:37 am on 5 July 2007

Fiji's military says the appointment of its senior officers to key positions in the public service is vital for its clean-up campaign.

Fiji TV says the military was responding to comments by the New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, that the public service was being militarized.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says the interim prime minister and military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, will continue to make appointments in the public service based on the requirements of the clean-up campaign.

Major Leweni says appointing military officers means the job will get done faster.

The military began appointing its officers to the public service soon after the December 5th takeover with one of the first such appointments being to the corruption ridden Immigration Department.

The new director of immigration, Commander Viliame Naipoto, has brought about efficiencies which saw the processing time for new passports reduced from 6 weeks to six working days and the office opening on Saturdays.