2 Nov 2007

Fiji public service told to save 10 percent in operating costs

2:15 pm on 2 November 2007

Fiji's Public Service Commission has directed all arms of the public service to achieve a 10 percent 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 percent.

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 28,000 staff on its pay roll of whom 23,300 are salaried and the rest paid by the hour.

She says this year's public service salary and wage bill will be 350 million US dollars or 59 percent of the total government budget.

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