MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 4:00PM 24/06/13

1.???????GOVERNMENT EMBARKS ON A FOOD BANK INITIATIVE-?Government has embarked on a new initiative to establish a Food Bank to supplement existing programmes for poverty alleviation.

 

2.???????MINISTRY OF FINANCE TO HAVE DOUBLE DISPLAY-?As part of the Public Service Day the Ministry of Finance is inviting the general public to take advantage of information available on the Ministry through displays at the Government Service Centre (GSC) and its headquarters.

 

3.???????PUBLIC URGED TO VISIT MINISTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS FOR PUBLIC SERVICE DAY-?Members of the public are encouraged to visit Government ministries and departments around the country as part of Public Service Day?tomorrow?June 25, 2013.

1.?GOVERNMENT EMBARKS ON A FOOD BANK INITIATIVE

Government has embarked on a new initiative to establish a Food Bank to supplement existing programmes for poverty alleviation.

The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation has partnered with the Ministry of Health, Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation and other relevant stakeholders to target beneficiaries in the poorest communities in Fiji through this scheme.

A round table meeting was held last week between the Social Welfare permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta, Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma and Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation executive Ambalika Devi Kutty.

Dr Koroivueta ?said an inter-agency consultation was held to scrutinize plans on developing a Food Bank in Fiji and Government is determined to make this plan a reality.

?As outlined in the Pillar 8 of People?s Charter for Change Peace and Progress, Government is committed on reducing poverty to a negligible level by 2014. Given this overarching vision in mind, the Food Bank initiative would greatly complement this national vision and most importantly it will positively impact the lives of the disadvantaged individuals and families who are living in poverty,? Dr Koroivueta said.

Dr Koroivueta said the Ministry carried out a reform exercise clearly mapped out the areas with high incidence of poverty.

?This will be used for focused targeting of beneficiaries in the poorer of the poor communities in Fiji,? Dr Koroivueta said.

?The food bank initiative will provide hope to families that are living in poverty/. It will promote the physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing for the disadvantaged families to access food items and nurture a healthy living environment. It is a safety net designed to address food security and poverty alleviation in Fiji,? he added.

Health Minister Dr Sharma said, ?We see this as a great opportunity to support all those who are in need. We are pleased to work with Ministry of Social Welfare and other stake holders to make this initiative successful.”

This week, the Ministries will be meeting with relevant stakeholders such as wholesalers, food processors, manufacturers and other food based organisations and NGO?s to progress the initiative.

There are also plans to mobilise volunteers from the Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation funded National Volunteer Centres to distribute the food to the poor.

Dr Koroivueta said a warehouse and distribution platform will be scoped to implement this project to ensure best practices and attention to food safety acts are considered within the scope of public health.

-ENDS-

2.?MINISTRY OF FINANCE TO HAVE DOUBLE DISPLAY

As part of the Public Service Day the Ministry of Finance is inviting the general public to take advantage of information available on the Ministry through displays at the Government Service Centre (GSC) and its headquarters.

The deputy secretaries, directors and other senior management of the Ministry will be serving on the front counter at the headquarters in Ro Lalabalavu House on?June 25, 2013.

Acting permanent secretary Akosita Drova said pamphlets and other information material will be accessible to the public at the display at their office together with the set up at GSC.

Ms Drova has urged public to visit the GSC display because vital information on Government concessions and ?functions of its? different financial machineries will be available there.

?For the entire week the Ministry together with the other statutory financial organizations such as Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, Fiji National Provident Fund, Fiji Development Bank, Reserve Bank of Fiji and After Care will be on display at GSC,? Ms Drova said.

?The Government Printing will also be part of the set-up.?

Ms Drova said the Ministry has been working on service delivery through improving its standard operating procedures (SOP?s), streamlining its internal processes and introducing an ?Open Door Policy? and a customer feedback questionnaire to gauge customer satisfaction level.

?Some of the major projects undertaken by the Ministry this year are M-Paisa facility for salaries and wages whereby civil servants with Vodafone services can have their salaries and wages directly to their mobile phones and the electronic fund transfer whereby usage of cheques will be minimized,? Ms Drova added.

The Financial Management Reform (FMR) scholarships are also offered to civil servants who are undertaking studies in Accounting at the Fiji National University, which will further strengthen the accounting cadre.

-ENDS-

3.?PUBLIC URGED TO VISIT MINISTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS FOR PUBLIC SERVICE DAY

Members of the public are encouraged to visit Government ministries and departments around the country as part of Public Service Day?tomorrowJune 25, 2013.

Public Service Commission permanent secretary Parmesh Chand said people are urged to visit government ministries and departments in all divisions throughout Fiji to benefit from the activities and events showcased on the day.

Mr Chand said the day will be a normal working day for all ministries and departments but each government entity is expected to take the extra initiative in improving the profile and visibility of services provided to members of the public.

He added that ministries and departments will also be highlighting their achievements and improvement schemes in terms of public service delivery to the people of Fiji.

?There will be displays of posters, banners as well as a display of the services rendered by the different ministries and departments and the public is invitied to visit the offices close to them to get to know more about them,? Mr Chand said.

Mr Chand highlighted that?June 25?was chosen as Public Service Day in Fiji because of the United Nations Public Service Day which is celebrated on June 23 of each year which falls on a?Sunday?this year.

The Public Service Day was created to celebrate the value and virtue of service to the community.

-Ends-