1. DIGITISATION PROJECT TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY WITHIN MINISTRY – The digitisation process for records maintained by the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs will improve efficiency for the Ministry and Government.
2. HEALTH STRENGTHENS FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE – The Health Ministry will strengthen its focusing on improvising customer services in health facilities around the country.
3. FIJI LEARNS FROM SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE – Fiji and Singapore share a lot of similarities and have a strong and growing bilateral relationship said the Public Service Commission permanent secretary, Mr Parmesh Chand.
4. KADAVU WOMEN BENEFITTING FROM BEE KEEPING PROJECT – The production of honey by women in the villages of Natokalau and Yakita village, Yawe district in Kadavu is generating “sweet” success for the communities living there.
5. TISSUE CULTURE LAB TO BE COMMISSIONED NEXT WEEK – The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests Mr Inia Seruiratu will soon commission a new Tissue Culture Laboratory at the Koronivia Research Station.
1 DIGITISATION PROJECT TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY WITHIN MINISTRY
The digitisation process for records maintained by the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs will improve efficiency for the Ministry and Government.
This week the Ministry’s permanent secretary Mr. Savenaca Kaunisela launched a two-day training for staff who are working towards digitizing records kept with the iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission. Once training is complete, staff at the Ministry will access records using a digital approach – a method which the Permanent Secretary says will also position his Ministry to be efficient when responding to stakeholders.
Speaking to the 20 Officers who are being trained to use new software and computer applications, Mr Kaunisela highlighted the significance of this new development to the Ministry. He said that this would improve accessibility to vital data not just for key agencies within Government but also for the public.
He urged participants at the training to take ownership of the Project and learn the digitization processes thoroughly because the accuracy and usefulness of these data will depend on their commitment to the Project.
The digitisation of the records is carried out by the Information Technology and Computing Services Department commonly known at ITC.
2 HEALTH STRENGTHENS FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE
The Health Ministry will strengthen its focusing on improvising customer services in health facilities around the country.
The Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma recently met with the administrative team at the Colonial War Memorial hospital (CWM) and the two larger health establishments to renew the size and operations of the customer service division.
During his meeting, Minister Sharma said that “customer service is paramount for any health facility and we aim at ensuring that patients and visitors to our health facilities are assisted in the hospital environment”.
The Health Ministry will be engaging personnel from the National Volunteer Center, coordinated by the Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS) to be stationed at the three divisional hospitals to support, direct and assist patients through the hospital.
Engaging additional manpower will oversee, supervise and support the current health staff ensuring that health facilities are clean and up to date.
This is one strategy used to ensure that there is a reduction in the patient waiting time and ensuring efficient and effective health service delivery.
3 FIJI LEARNS FROM SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE
Fiji and Singapore share a lot of similarities and have a strong and growing bilateral relationship said the Public Service Commission permanent secretary, Mr Parmesh Chand.
He made the comments as he provided opening remarks at the commencement of a Study Visit of Senior Fijian Government Officials on Singapore experiences in public service governance and administration.
Mr Chand said that it is a remarkable opportunity for a group of Senior Officials to be in Singapore, a country which has one of the best functioning public service governance and administration in the world. Mr Chand went on to say that it is great for us to be exposed to how public servants get trained, prepared and professionally developed to be part of an efficient and highly productive public service.
The Study Visit of Senior Fijian Public Officials to Singapore is funded by the Government of Singapore under the Singapore Co-operation Programme. The objective of the Study Visit is to learn of the best practices in public services administration and governance for top class public service delivery.
Mr Chand said that ordinary Fijians deserve continuous improvements in public service delivery and a study visit as such will greatly assist in achieving such an objective.
The members of the study visit are Mr Parmesh Chand, PS Public Service, Mr Filimone Waqabaca, PS Finance, Mr Pita Wise, PS Strategic Planning, National Development & Statistics, Ratu Tui Cavuilati, Fiji’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Naipote Katonitabua, Acting Deputy Secretary – Prime Minister’s Office, Mrs Elina Lobendahn-Volavola, Acting Deputy Secretary – Ministry of Finance, Mr Josefo Navuku, Chief Economic Planning Officer – Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Paula Cirikiyasawa, Acting Chief Economic Planning Officer – Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development & Statistics and Mrs Misau Fasala, Principal Administrative Officer – Public Service Commission.
4 KADAVU WOMEN BENEFITTING FROM BEE KEEPING PROJECT
The production of honey by women in the villages of Natokalau and Yakita village, Yawe district in Kadavu is generating “sweet” success for the communities living there.
A team led recently by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni visited Natokalau and Yakita to gauge the progress of the two bee-keeping projects which was funded by the Department of Women in 2013.
While providing an update, Natokalau Womens Group president Mrs Mere Vakaribiriki said the honey production has proven to be a profitable business for their group.
“There are 30 members in our group and they work hard to support their families. Last year we started the bee keeping project with 5 bee hives which has enabled us to earn income for our group, through 3 harvests so far the group has been able to save more than $700.
Minister Luveni said that while the project is generating financial gain, it is encouraging to note the inclusion of men in developing this project.
“Its motivating to see that men are supporting these projects and the Ministry is encouraging export oriented products and honey has a lucrative market. The research team from Ministry of Agriculture and University of South Pacific has reliably informed the villages that their honey is of finest quality and this has further motivated them.
For the Yakita Soqosoqo Vakamarama president Mrs Karalaini Tubuna, the bee production project is more than just financial gain. She explained that the project was empowering the women in the village.
“This project has been an eye opener for Yakita women, with the realization that they need to utilize the resources and skills available to earn income for their families. Women have adapted to the mentality that they are made for great things and once they are able to empower themselves then they can make a difference in their communities”, Mrs Tubuna said.
5 TISSUE CULTURE LAB TO BE COMMISSIONED NEXT WEEK
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests Mr Inia Seruiratu will soon commission a new Tissue Culture Laboratory at the Koronivia Research Station.
Plant tissue culture is a technology where plants are cultured under sterile controlled laboratory conditions, that is, plant tissues mainly the growing points (shoot tips) of plants are exposed to a specific regime of nutrients and hormones to produce many new plants, each a clone of the original mother plant, over a very short period of time.
The technology is internationally recognised as a safe way for transfer of plants across borders and is being used by the commercial sector for mass-production of selected crop species. The technology can also eliminate certain pests and diseases and assist with conservation of Fiji’s important and unique staple crops and tree genetic resources through plant tissue culture.
The laboratory has the responsibility for multiplying planting materials of different crops sourced locally and also improved crop varieties provided by SPC Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees, CePaCT, for example, taro, banana, breadfruit, cassava, Irish potato, sweet potato, and yams, as well as for research purposes.
The role of the laboratory further supports and facilitates the provision of crop varieties with climate-ready traits in significant numbers in order to be able to respond quickly to disasters, such as the floods and cyclones. The laboratory can also be used to support needs from other sectors such as the floriculture, horticulture and forestry industries thus it will play a vital role in supporting food and nutrition security in Fiji.