MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 12/10/13 3.00PM

  1. FIJI SPEAKS AT UN ON ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN – Fiji?s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, this morning delivered a Statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China to the plenary of the Third Committee of the United Nation.

 

  1. COMMISSION TO IDENTIFY MORE OFFICERS FOR CHINA TRAINING – Fiji will send more civil servants to the Chinese Executive Leadership Academy of Pudong (CELAP) to undergo short-term training.

 

  1. GOVERNMENT TO PROMOTE ANTI-POVERTY CAMPAIGN IN THE NORTH – The International Day for the Eradication Poverty [IDEP] will be commemorated in Natewa, Cakaudrove in Vanua Levu Levu. The three day event from the 16th to the 18th of October will focus on the theme, ?Working together towards a world without discrimination.?

 

  1. SERVICE EXCELLENCE BOOSTS PRODUCTIVITY WITHIN CIVIL SERVICE – The Service Excellence Awards Framework continues to show signs of success within the civil service.

 

  1. LOCAL GOVT MINISTRY LOOKS TO BOOST CURRENT SERVICES TO PUBLIC – The Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment is looking at ways of boosting its services to the public.

 

  1. MINISTRY CARRIES OUT ?SERVICE EXCELLENCE? TRAINING FOR SCHOOL HEADS – The Ministry of Education is carrying out a ?filtering? approach in its pursuit of Service Excellence reforms.

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1 FIJI SPEAKS AT UN ON ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN

 

Fiji?s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, this morning delivered a Statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China to the plenary of the Third Committee of the United Nation.

 

Speaking on the Advancement of Women, Ambassador Thomson informed the General Assembly that despite the progress and the achievements in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action there still remain severe problems affecting women, such as high incidences of poverty, extremism, violence and discrimination against women. Ambassador Thomson called for expediting of global action at all levels to address these problems and their root causes.

 

He emphasised the Group of 77’s view that the eradication of poverty remains the greatest global challenge facing developing countries today.? He said poverty eradication was critical in overcoming the challenges facing women and girls. In this regard, he said,? ?There is a need for genuine partnerships and strengthened cooperation from developed countries aimed at expanding opportunities for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment and advancement of women?.

 

?The Group of 77 calls for? intensified efforts at all levels in addressing the alarming statistics concerning the increased incidents of trafficking in women and girls, the violation of fundamental women?s rights, violence against women and girls, the wide spread of HIV and AIDs, unemployment and the lack of access to social services.? Ambassador Thomson told the meeting.

 

?As we deliberate on the post-2015 development agenda, it is even more imperative that national efforts allow for the inclusive and effective participation of women and girls, including the creation of an enabling environment to foster increasing political participation of women at all levels of decision-making? Ambassador Thomson said.

 

In closing, he made it clear that the Group of 77 and China reaffirms its commitment to the full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and will work towards the further empowerment and advancement of women.

 

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2 COMMISSION TO IDENTIFY MORE OFFICERS FOR CHINA TRAINING

 

Fiji will send more civil servants to the Chinese Executive Leadership Academy of Pudong (CELAP) to undergo short-term training.

 

The Public Service Commission permanent secretary Parmesh Chand made this announcement this week after twenty senior officials from across government agencies and statutory bodies returned from China following their own training from CELAP.

 

This week the officials met with the PSC permanent secretary and staff of the Commission and shared their experiences.

 

?PSC?s role is to identify officers for the training and we are looking at the possibility of sending more officers in the future,? Mr Chand said.

 

?Government had requested for three hundred more officials to undergo training and that has been approved so we will be sending batches of 25 officers for the next five years.?

 

Commending the leadership development training, the Ministry of Education?s deputy secretary Kelera Taloga said that the concept of governance in China was an ?eye opener for her?.

 

?The ministries in China focus on one plan, whatever is implemented at the ground level is an implementation of the master plan,? Ms Taloga said.

 

?One of the key factors that I learned in China that I can transfer to my own ministry is the need to work together in realising our own vision.?

 

Similarly, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Rusiate Tudravu said that the one of the main features of the training focussed on reforms.

 

?The will of the leaders to implement changes and to be people focussed is very important,?

 

?It is very clear that China?s intent to develop the country focuses on the needs of the citizens and from the Fiji Police point of view this includes the significant role that national security plays.?

 

CELAP is China’s Premier Executive Leadership Training Academy, providing training to top bureaucrats and politicians in China on the dynamics of the country’s socio economic development.

 

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3 GOVERNMENT TO PROMOTE ANTI-POVERTY CAMPAIGN IN THE NORTH

 

The International Day for the Eradication Poverty [IDEP] will be commemorated in Natewa, Cakaudrove in Vanua Levu Levu. The three day event from the 16th to the 18th of October will focus on the theme, ?Working together towards a world without discrimination.?

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At a briefing held this week by the Poverty Monitoring Unit at the Office of the Prime Minister, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993 on October 17th.? The day is designated to promote awareness on the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries like Fiji.

 

The 3 day event scheduled for the Northern Division will include live demonstration of the art of making Virgin oil, Oratory contests and entertainment by schools, flower arrangements by women?s groups, and live talk-back shows by Government Ministries.

 

Agencies representing both the public and private sector will showcase the services that they provide towards alleviating poverty. This approach will benefit members of the public to access the essential information to help make informed decisions

 

Government has implemented new initiatives such as the transportation assistance scheme and food voucher programme, Welfare Graduation Program, Capital Gants to Voluntary Organizations, Family Assistance Scheme, Care and Protection Allowance, Housing Assistance , Squatter Upgrading and Resettlement Programme, Northern Development Programme, Multi-Ethnic Scholarships, Bus Fare Subsidy, FEA – Subsidy Grants to All Citizens, FDB – Interest Subsidy (Northern Development Projects) and Student Loan Scheme.

 

Fijians living in the Natewa or neighboring districts are encouraged to come and be part of this event where they can be assisted with information from Bank Personnel?s, tertiary Institutions, microfinance units and various government departments.

 

The next awareness program will be conducted in the Central Division at Thompson Park in Navua from the 23rd ? 25th of October 2013.

 

ENDS

 

4 SERVICE EXCELLENCE BOOSTS PRODUCTIVITY WITHIN CIVIL SERVICE

 

The Service Excellence Awards Framework continues to show signs of success within the civil service.

 

Culminating with the annual awards in the Public Service Commission?s calendar, the framework is actively incorporated into business plans for every government agencies and closely monitored by the Commission.

 

At a press conference held this week, the PSC permanent secretary Parmesh Chand said that the framework continues to improve processes and creates efficiency within government agencies. He added that a key focus of the framework was to continuously look at ways of strengthening the customer-services approach.

 

?Every year the PSC invests in the Service Excellence Awards and we have seen a definite impact of results from these awards. The awards re-look at systems and processes and how to modify services at various agencies. We have trained more than 500 evaluators using the Australian model of business excellence,? Chand said.

 

Now in its eighth year of running, the SEA this year has seen the participation of 31 agencies and the participation of 800 public servants who carry out assessments on how these agencies commit to the framework.

 

The participation of government agencies is mandatory and is one of the key performance indicators for all Permanent Secretaries.

 

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5 LOCAL GOVT MINISTRY LOOKS TO BOOST CURRENT SERVICES TO PUBLIC

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The Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment is looking at ways of boosting its services to the public.

 

The Ministry?s recently appointed Permanent Secretary Mr Samuela Namosimalua said that one of the processes currently under review is the delivery of services to the public including a quicker response to public queries and requests.

 

The former Ministry of Labour official said that the review has identified various loopholes that need to be addressed.

 

?I have noticed a few places where we could improve on to better out service delivery to the people,? he said.

 

?It is a big ministry but with my experience of working at the Ministry of Labour for so long, we can achieve the required results.?

 

He added that the Ministry?s deliverables outlined in their? Annual Corporate Plan (ACP) will be met before he speeds up the reforms that have been carried out in the ministry.

 

Mr Namosimalua said he had capable man power and the right skills in the ministry to carry out tasks as required.

 

?We have the people with the right sets of skills and people who are well qualified,? Mr Namosimalua said.

 

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6 MINISTRY CARRIES OUT ?SERVICE EXCELLENCE? TRAINING FOR SCHOOL HEADS

 

The Ministry of Education is carrying out a ?filtering? approach in its pursuit of Service Excellence reforms.

 

This week the Ministry reminded Head Teachers and Principals from 14 Government schools throughout the country on Government?s approach towards improving service delivery to all stakeholders and clients.

 

The Ministry?s permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal spoke to these senior officials at a training on the ?Service Excellence Awards? and reminded them to continuously aspire for excellence in their service delivery.

 

?The Service Excellence Award Initiative is mandated by PSC for all Government agencies to strive for excellence in their service delivery. It is the Ministry?s endeavor to ensure the deployment of SEA practices throughout our institutions. This would be an ongoing event within the Ministry of Education,? Dr Lal said.

 

The Service Excellence Award is guided by the Malcolm Baldrige Framework which has been proven to improve performance and effectiveness. It is envisioned that all schools will participate and effectively culture the SEA Principles and philosophies by 2014 onwards.

 

Dr Lal informed the school heads that the framework will empower them to become better leaders.

 

?Your presence in this workshop will empower you and equip you and that when you return to your respective schools, you will return as a stronger and firmer leader.?

 

The 14 government schools will pilot the use of the Balridge framework in schools while the rest of the schools will start in 2014.

 

?As school leaders, it is mandatory that SEA practices are introduced and cultured into your processes and systems for continuous improvements. This year, we are focused on the theme ?Step Up? and I firmly believe that the SEA is a tool that will certainly allow us to implement changes in our schools that will contribute to improvements.?

 

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