14 Oct 2009

Secretariat of the Pacific Community to grow by a third next January

4:19 pm on 14 October 2009

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community's absorption of two other regional bodies will go ahead next January.

The SPC takes over most of the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission or SOPAC and all of the South Pacific Board of Educational Assessment or SPBEA.

The SPC's director general, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, says it will not take on responsbility for SOPAC's climate change and environmental monitoring programmes, which instead will go to the Pacific Regional Environment Program in Apia.

He says no staff contracts are being terminated prematurely and no extra staff will be employed.

"The underpinning principle of the merger is benefits to the countries and territories that we serve. The idea is that if all the technical delivery services that build capacity that add value to countries are co-ordinated within one agency there is a chance for a more cohesive and co-ordinated approach to service delivery to members and that is the rationale for the organisation and so it's not do with benefits to SPC."

Dr Jimmie Rodgers says combining three organisations will reduce costs but by how much will not be known until next year.