1. PRESIDENT TO HEAD FIJIAN PRESENCE AT YOUTH OLYMPICS – The Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will participate at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.
2. HEALTH CENTRE UPGRADE TO BENEFIT NAMOSI RESIDENTS – Residents of Namosi are set to benefit from the general overhaul of Waivaka Health Centre which is undergoing renovation works.
3. STATISTICS OFFICE IMPROVES MEASURES FOR RELIABLE INFORMATION – Fiji’s Bureau of Statistics is improving measures and looking into various opportunities to continue to collate accurate data for their work.
4. PSC-PICPA WORKSHOP ON GOOD GOVERNANCE IN RECRUITING PROCESSES OPENS – A seminar on Good Governance in Recruitment and Selection Processes for senior Government officials began this week in Suva.
5. NEW LIBRARY AND STAFFROOM FOR REWA STUDENTS – Government’s many investments towards the education sector are targeted at grooming Fijian children to become responsible citizens of the country, said the Minister for Education, Filipe Bole.
6. FORUM TO INTEGRATE DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE – A National Platform for disaster risk management and climate change will be held next week to gather relevant stakeholders and discuss/identify gaps and proposes way forward to harmonise disaster risk management and climate change in areas of commonality that will benefit the country.
7. MINISTRY HOLDS TALKS WITH NASINU RESIDENTS – The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation held discussions today with the residents living in New Town community in Nasinu, Suva.
1 PRESIDENT TO HEAD FIJIAN PRESENCE AT YOUTH OLYMPICS
The Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will participate at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.
The Head of State was met last night by Fiji’s Honorary Counsel to Hong Kong Professor Desmond Lee on his transit to Nanjing through Hong Kong. He will join other world leaders and senior officials representing governments and the private sector at the opening ceremony of the games which is scheduled for this week.
While at Nanjing, the Fijian President is expected to hold bilateral discussions with the President of the Peoples Republic of China His Excellency Xi Jinping and other senior government officials.
Fiji will also be participating at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in the fields of Rugby, Hockey, Volleyball and Athletics.
2 HEALTH CENTRE UPGRADE TO BENEFIT NAMOSI RESIDENTS
Residents of Namosi are set to benefit from the general overhaul of Waivaka Health Centre which is undergoing renovation works.
The Ministry of Works will renovate the nursing station with a budget allocation of $400,000 injected into the project.
Namosi provincial administrator Mr Nicholas Ting said renovation works will provide a better health facility and service to the villagers.
“There are 4 villages in the district of Namosi with a total population of more than 600 people who will benefit from this re-development,” Mr Ting said.
Waivaka village Turaga ni Koro Mr Tobia Milianu said upgrading the health centre will save people money in taking a long ride to Navua Hospital.
“In the past we use to go all the way to Navua to treat cases that cannot be treated here, so this re-development will create facilities that will meet the people’s needs,” Mr Milianu said.
This development is part of the Roadmap to Democracy and in line with pillar 10 of the Peoples Charter which advocates improving health service delivery.
3 STATISTICS OFFICE IMPROVES MEASURES FOR RELIABLE INFORMATION
Fiji’s Bureau of Statistics is improving measures and looking into various opportunities to continue to collate accurate data for their work.
Government statistician, Epeli Waqavonovono said that with the increased government funding, the statistics office have had regular household and business surveys.
“The monitoring and evaluation requirements of government agencies are pushing a lot of users to convince government about the resources that’s required by the Bureau of Statistics to capture the additional information that’s available. And also what we notice is that there is now a greater acknowledgement of the importance of statistics.
He added that the statistics office is now able to do regular compilation of supply use tables when there is continuous development of new indicators to improve on the measurements.
“Some of the development work that we are engaging in is to have quarterly GDP also to have poverty incidence rates at the lower levels of geography so we can help our development partners target areas which are in need for assistance.
Mr Waqavonovono also highlighted that the various ways of collecting data now includes the new forms of registrations for mobile phones, FNPF and even the elections voter registration.
“Also you may have noticed the last few years is that there has been a lot of registration information for Tax, FNPF, register for mobile phones and registrations for elections, these are all valuable information that we can have access to.
“And also for health information, deaths, births in hospitals now and attended to are confirmed by medical personnel. But the problem we have is the quality of information that is captured by those people responsible,” Mr Waqavonovono said.
He also confirmed that the other forms of data are from the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) tax forms and the academic institutions.
The statistics office has acquired qualified personnel and extended the number of staff to improve service delivery.
4 PSC-PICPA WORKSHOP ON GOOD GOVERNANCE IN RECRUITING PROCESSES OPENS
A seminar on Good Governance in Recruitment and Selection Processes for senior Government officials began this week in Suva.
Opened by the Permanent Secretary for the Public Service Mr Parmesh Chand, the seminar is the first in a series of five (5) workshops targeted at senior officials from within Government.
Mr Chand expressed his gratitude to the Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA) for their continued partnership with the Public Service Commission in delivering the series of workshops. PICPA and PSC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June and this partnership will involve up to 150 participants from various Ministries and Departments from the Fijian Public Service partaking in these workshops. Under the MOU, the Public Service Commission will provide funding in the amount of $28,297.50 to PICPA to deliver these workshops over the remainder of the year.
Facilitated by Dr Desmond Amosa and a team led by Dr Subash Appana, the main objectives of the workshop are to expose the participants to best practices in HR recruitment, to allow participants to seek clarifications on their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the practice of good governance in HR recruitment process and to provide a platform for discussions on collaborative actions in the best interests of the public service in this field.
Mr Chand said that with the devolution of some of the Public Service Commission’s roles under the 2013 Constitution, PSC is committed to assisting the various government agencies with the implementation of their own Human Resource Strategies through various trainings, workshops and knowledge sharing. This, he says, will ensure that all officers maintain ethical standards and adhere to proper principles and values of due process that will be beneficial to all stakeholders and the nation as a whole. Mr Chand also emphasised the importance of a transparent and coherent system demanded by any efficient public administration system.
The three-day long training will involve workshops with lectures, presentations, group discussions and will include resource personnel with inputs provided from other relevant experts in the field as well. Participants were encouraged to take full advantage of these workshops to be able to be able to provide the public with an accountable and professional Public Service.
5 NEW LIBRARY AND STAFFROOM FOR REWA STUDENTS
Government’s many investments towards the education sector are targeted at grooming Fijian children to become responsible citizens of the country, said the Minister for Education, Filipe Bole.
Mr Bole highlighted this at the opening of a new staffroom and a library at Noco Secondary School in Rewa today.
Government provided a funding of $80,000 to construct the two new facilities at the school in the beginning of this term to cater for the shortage of optional subject classrooms.
He said with Government providing assistance to make education accessible to all students in Fiji, the onus now is on these students to study hard and be successful.
“Students must concentrate on their studies and listen to their teachers. It is the responsibility of the teachers and parents to provide moral support to the students so that they become good citizens of the nation and obtain good jobs,” Mr Bole said.
Mr Bole added that the fee-free education grant introduced this year is testament to the Government’s commitment to improving education for the children of Fiji.
“We are also developing rural schools around the country, bus fare assistance continues and text books are also provided. Members of the communities need to work together and capitalise on the opportunities provided,” Minister Bole said.
Noco Secondary School principal, Maikali Benaca said the assistance provided by the Ministry of Education was timely.
“The school was established in 2006 with only 13 students, however, from this year we started with Year 13 with 20 students. The school roll is 130 and we cater for students from the districts of Noco, Tokatoka, Dreketi and Burebasaga,” Mr Benaca said.
Mr Benaca said the Noco Secondary School was affected by a flood at the beginning of Term 2 this year and they requested assistance from the Education Ministry to address the problem of shortage of classrooms for optional subjects.
“Our contractors built the staffroom and library for $72,000 and the other $8000 was used to fully complete our science lab. The initial staffroom was converted into a telecentre together with a new admin and office block. We are fortunate to receive assistance from government.”
The principal said previously, students used to have optional classes in the corridors and sometimes two classes were held in one classroom.
“The telecentre is used by the students and villagers from the three districts close by. Our students no longer have to go to town to use internet for research or project assignments. The library is also resourceful for research purposes,” Mr Benaca added.
Construction works at the school began promptly after concerns were raised with the ministry and it completed about a month ago.
6 FORUM TO INTEGRATE DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
A National Platform for disaster risk management and climate change will be held next week to gather relevant stakeholders and discuss/identify gaps and proposes way forward to harmonise disaster risk management and climate change in areas of commonality that will benefit the country.
Currently, disaster risk management and climate change are two fields administrated separately by the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs respectively.
The Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management permanent secretary Mr Filipe Alifereti said the National Platform is to build upon the best practice from successful disaster risk management and climate change projects and programs to achieve sustainable development benchmark for the country.
He said that the National Platform is the beginning of joint efforts to find synergies and integration between the two programmes focusing on the sharing of ideas, concepts and good practices that are relevant and beneficial to Fiji.
“It is also an essential step towards aligning Fiji with regional and international initiatives in these two programmes,” Mr Alifereti emphasised.
The forum will consist of thematic sessions that cover disaster risks and climate related processes with speakers drawn widely from experts in academia, government, outside government, development partners, private sector, local government and community.
A meeting statement is expected to be the outcome of the National Platform which will form the basis for the formulation of a paper to Cabinet for the endorsement of a revision of disaster risk management in Fiji to include climate change and relevant sectors.
More than 200 stakeholders are expected to participate at the forum selected from agencies in government and outside government at national and sub-national levels including community and also regional and international partners.
The forum will be held at Novotel, Lami from 19th to the 22nd August and is expected to be opened by the Minister Rural, Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu.
7 MINISTRY HOLDS TALKS WITH NASINU RESIDENTS
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation held discussions today with the residents living in New Town community in Nasinu, Suva.
A team comprising of senior welfare officers and women interest officers chaired a meeting with the leaders of the New Town community at St Marks Anglican Church, this morning.
This meeting was based on the request of women’s groups in New Town to discuss new areas of cooperation with the Ministry. The Senior Welfare Officer Mr Jone Melekini said the Ministry will avail the assistance through poverty alleviation programs.
“The core deliverables of the Ministry is focused on improving the livelihood of communities through poverty alleviation and women empowerment. Today’s meeting has opened new pathways for the New Town women to access the Ministry’s assistance in developing their skills and resources to boost their income generating activities.
“The Ministry’s operates with the principle that when women are empowered the benefits of it are experienced by their families and communities. We will introduce new programs focused on family development and that would see the welfare and women officers working closely with the community leaders,” Mr Melekini said.
While speaking on behalf of the New Town women, their president Mrs Mereti Rabonu thanked the Ministry for equipping them with new tools for income generating.
“This community has a population of up to 500, there are families here who face financial difficulties and we have formed two women’s groups to address this challenge. The Anglican Association of Women’s Group consists of 40 elderly women and Moana Young Mothers group which is made up of 50 women was formed early this year.
“Currently, these women are earning income through selling handicraft and also beanies which is sold as far as in Australia. We are grateful to the Ministry for providing us with two electrical sewing machines that will help us to earn money through sewing school uniforms. We also would like to acknowledge Minister Luveni for her leadership and vision that has motivated us to form this new partnership with the Ministry,” Mrs Rabonu said.
Mr Samisoni Rogo, the spokesman for Newtown community said that direct meeting with government officials makes it easy for them to access information on development programs.
“The presence of the welfare and women officers here this morning demonstrates their commitment to assist the communities in addressing their problems. The Bainimarama government has done a lot for the people through the provisions of free education, free bus fare, welfare assistance and social pension scheme,” Mr Rogo added.