2 Nov 2007

Fiji Public Service told to implement 10% cut in costs immediately

11:19 am on 2 November 2007

Fiji's Public Service Commission has directed all arms of the civil service to achieve a 10% reduction in operating costs with immediate effect.

The permanent secretary of the PSC, Taina Tagicakibau, says the directive arose out of a slow response from government ministries and departments to an earlier request to cut operating costs by 10%.

She says the directive would remain in place until austerity measures are put in place.

These would include a freeze on all new posts and a freeze on filling vacancies.

Ms Tagicakibau says an audit shows that the state has 28-thousand staff on its pay roll of whom 23-thousand-300 are salaried and the rest hourly paid.

She says this years public service salary and wage bill will be 350-million US dollars or 59% of the total government budget.

Savings from the current cost cutting would be directed towards capital expenditure, health, education and better policing.