I’m the best candidate for the position that I was selected to – Kuruleca
PSC appoints permanent secretaries with the agreement of the PM

I’m the best candidate for the position that I was selected to – Kuruleca

PSC appoints permanent secretaries with the agreement of the PM

By fijivillage
Monday 24/07/2023
Selina Kuruleca

Questions are being raised on what constitutional steps the Prime Minister will take after Minister for Education, Aseri Radrodro said that he rejects the appointment of Selina Kuruleca as the Permanent Secretary for Education.


Radrodro refers question to PSC after being asked if he will accept Kuruleca as PS for Education

By Mosese Raqio
Monday 17/07/2023
Minister for Education, Aseri Radrodro

That is the question you have to ask the Public Service Commission was the response from Minister of Education Aseri Radrodro when asked by fijivillage News if he will accept Selina Kuruleca's appointment as Permanent Secretary for Education.

He says there has been much said about the appointment and in his capacity as the Minister of Education, there have been suggestions that he took a dislike of the appointment of Kuruleca.

When asked if he did mention to the Prime Minister that he did not like Kuruleca, Radrodro says it was just a matter of miscommunication between him and the Prime Minister when they had a meeting.

Radrodro clarified that he has the greatest respect for Kuruleca as a professional and as a friend known to him personally, however, he has had an agreement with the teacher unions in Fiji, the Fijian Teachers Association, and the Fijian Teachers Union that the Ministry of Education needs someone who has led at the leadership level at the Education Ministry.

He says all this is about giving recognition to the teacher unions as they have raised their concerns and that is what he is trying to accommodate.

Radrodro says the Ministry of Education is the largest Ministry in the Fijian government with over 18,000 employed as teachers and support staff that deserves and requires an experienced, visionary, and comprehensive leader who has led people at the executive level managing people and resources.

He says the unions have not been heard and their calls have been falling on deaf ears in the last decade and the last thing he wants to see as the Minister of Education is the two unions being at loggerheads again with the Ministry.

When asked if he has undermined section 126 of the constitution when he rejected the appointment of Kuruleca as PS for Education, Radrodro says he did not reject the appointment but all he is requesting is consultations that should be done.

According to the PSC contract, Kuruleca was supposed to take office on July 3rd.



Convention according to the constitution, convention of negotiation or abuse of office are options when dealing with the case of PS rejection - PM

By Vijay Narayan, Mosese Raqio
Thursday 13/07/2023
Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka

Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka says all issues will be considered when dealing with the Minister for Education, Aseri Radrodro’s rejection of the Permanent Secretary appointment as ministers do not have powers under the constitution to interfere in the process.

These include the convention according to the constitution, the convention of negotiation or look at it purely based on law as abuse of office.

Rabuka says he will deal with the issue regarding the Minister for Education, Aseri Radrodro rejecting the appointment of the Permanent Secretary, Selina Kuruleca, after parliament.

He has made it clear to fijivillage News that the convention according to the constitution is clear where the Public Service appoints Permanent Secretaries with the agreement of the Prime Minister, and the other is convention of negotiation.

When asked by fijivillage News if this opens the doors for other ministers to reject appointments although they do not have the powers under the constitution to do that, Rabuka says they also have to look at the issue of abuse of office.

Earlier


SODELPA Board has no involvement in the appointments of Permanent Secretaries or any other positions within the public service – Takayawa

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 13/07/2023
SODELPA General Secretary, Viliame Takayawa

SODELPA General Secretary, Viliame Takayawa clarifies that the SODELPA Board has no involvement in the appointments of Permanent Secretaries or any other positions within the public service.

Takayawa stresses that they have not supported nor endorsed any specific appointments to PS positions.

He says SODELPA upholds the principle of neutrality and independence of the Public Service Commission, respecting its mandate to ensure fair and impartial recruitment processes.

Takayawa also says it is important to emphasize that the appointment of personnel to public service positions is an operational matter that falls under the authority of the relevant stakeholders.

He says SODELPA, as a political party, respects the decision-making processes in place and acknowledges that the views of stakeholders have been communicated to those in authority.

Takayawa says in light of recent events, it has come to his attention that Selina Kuruleca has chosen to engage with the media regarding her concerns.

He reiterates that, in such circumstances, SODELPA has consistently advised individuals to follow appropriate channels, such as contacting the PSC, to address any grievances or seek redress.

Takayawa says their party firmly believes in the importance of due process and adherence to established procedures.

He says it is equally important that dialogue, courtesy and consultation with the Ministers is done so that the service delivery of the ministry is in par with the people’s expectation as prescribed in the 2013 Fiji Constitution and also stipulated in the Coalition Agreement.

He has also announced that SODELPA will be organizing the Youth Annual General Meeting on the 27th of July, 2023.

This event aims to provide a platform for young individuals to engage, discuss relevant issues, and actively participate in shaping the future of our nation.

They will also be hosting the Women’s Annual General Meeting on the same day, focusing on the empowerment and inclusivity of women in political discourse.




FWRM calls on Radrodro and the unions to respect the decision of the PSC in appointing Doctor Selina Kuruleca as PS for Education

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 13/07/2023
Minister of Education, Aseri Radrodro, Selina Kuruleca and FWRM Executive Director, Nalini Singh

The Fiji Women's Rights Movement is today making an urgent call on the Minister for Education, Aseri Radrodro and the teacher unions to respect the decision of the Public Service Commission in appointing Doctor Selina Kuruleca as the Permanent Secretary for Education.

FWRM Executive Director, Nalini Singh asks what are the justifications of the Minister and the unions rejecting Dr Kuruleca’s appointment to the Education Ministry, and why do they think they have to be consulted when the law clearly states otherwise.

Singh says Section 126 (1) of the constitution confirms that ministers are not required to be consulted about appointment of Permanent Secretaries.

She says the FWRM is disappointed with the way the appointment has been handled by the Minister for Education and the union representatives.

Singh says Dr Kuruleca, whose appointment was confirmed by the Public Service Commission and due to have begun work on July 3rd, has been rejected by her own Minister, an act that not only undermines the qualifications and capabilities of Dr Kuruleca - a professional woman in her own right - but also the decision made by PSC.

Singh says they are disappointed with this turn of events.

She says in the line-up of new PS appointments, we only have three women.

Singh says Dr Kuruleca has contributed immensely to the fields of teaching and mental health. She asks why is she not the right candidate for the PS role.

Singh says this reeks of gender bias, and Dr Kuruleca is not being given the chance to take up her post, despite meeting the criteria and deemed the best candidate.

She says gender prejudices and stereotypes are often a major barrier of women at work, issues that women's rights groups have continuously advocated against as it prevents the recognition of women's contributions and limits their achievements at work.

The FWRM says they are saddened that issues around Dr Kuruleca’s appointment have been thrashed about in the media after processes have been followed as there could have been better ways to address this issue.

FWRM believes that to truly provide an opportunity for women's advancement into leadership positions, organisations including the state ministries and departments need to overcome gender bias in the workplace and other professional settings.

A research on leadership perceptions in Fiji conducted by FWRM in 2022 found that 69 percent of 906 survey respondents indicated that “gender stigmatisation” decreased a woman’s chances of being 'elected' as a leader.

A combined 74% (agreed and strongly agreed) that performance rewards are easily awarded to men, while women have to work twice as much.





Radrodro will have to work with whatever he’s got left, it is his problem if he does not accept the appointment of Kuruleca - PM

He just told me that he did not like her - Rabuka
By Mosese Raqio, Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 12/07/2023

Minister of Education, Aseri Radrodro will have to work with whatever he’s got left and that is his problem if he does not accept the appointment of Selina Kuruleca as the Permanent Secretary for Education.

This has been stated by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka after being asked by fijivillage News on what is his final decision after Radrodro rejected the Permanent Secretary appointment.

According to section 126 of the Constitution, the Public Service Commission has the functions to appoint permanent secretaries, with the agreement of the Prime Minister; and to remove permanent secretaries, with the agreement of the Prime Minister.

Rabuka says the PSC is allowed to do its own work and they will make a list of recommendations which he concurs with.

He says in this case, the Permanent Secretary appointed and contracted by the PSC is not acceptable to the Minister of Education which is now his problem.

When asked by fijivillage News if Radrodro had given him any reason as to why he rejected Kuruleca's appointment, Rabuka says that Radrodro just told him that he did not like her.

Rabuka also confirms that the union has no power to decide on who is appointed as the Permanent Secretary, and they had written to the Minister of Education, and not to him.

When asked if Radrodro wanted another person, Rabuka says there were some discussions on that.

When approached by fijivillage News on the Prime Minister saying that Radrodro had said he did not like Kuruleca, Radrodro says his main reason is the teacher unions who do not want Kuruleca.

Radrodro has not responded to our questions on the reason for his rejection of the PS appointment and the fact that the constitution states that the appointment is made by the PSC with the agreement of the Prime Minister. He also has not responded to the question on what is the final decision after his meeting with the Prime Minister.

Earlier:


I’m the best candidate for the position that I was selected to – Kuruleca

PSC appoints permanent secretaries with the agreement of the PM
By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 12/07/2023
Education Minister Aseri Radrodro, Selina Kuruleca and Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka

Questions are being raised on what constitutional steps the Prime Minister will take after Minister for Education, Aseri Radrodro said that he rejects the appointment of Selina Kuruleca as the Permanent Secretary for Education.

Kuruleca was selected by the Public Service Commission through their independent recruitment process.

According to section 126 of the Constitution, the Public Service Commission has the functions to appoint permanent secretaries, with the agreement of the Prime Minister; and to remove permanent secretaries, with the agreement of the Prime Minister.

When questioned on her stand, Kuruleca says as a public servant she will respect the decision of the PSC and the Minister for Civil Service who is also the Prime Minister.

Kuruleca says as a former school teacher, a USP lecturer, a mental health professional, an iTaukei and a woman, she is the best candidate for the position that she was selected to.

She says she is awaiting further instructions from PSC as her employer.

Kuruleca says she has a signed contract and an appointment letter.

She looks forward to being an effective public servant, and working in a manner that utilises her skills set and expertise. Kuruleca says her passion, knowledge and expertise is with children and young people.

She anticipates that where ever she is appointed to, she will utilise her skills set for the betterment of our people and for the advancement of the needs of the Coalition Government.

Kuruleca also says conflict management is part of being a leader, and she stresses that she is the best candidate for the job.

We have sent Radrodro questions on why he has rejected Kuruleca’s appointment.

We have also asked the Prime Minister what is his final decision as the Constitution states that the Permanent Secretaries are to be appointed by the PSC with the agreement of the Prime Minister.

When questioned by fijivillage News, SODELPA General Secretary, Viliame Takayawa says Minister Aseri Radrodro had told the party that he was not given the list and was not consulted.

Takayawa says the party has nothing to do with this, and it is a PSC issue.



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