Prof. Prasad pledges support to improve Fiji Corrections Service staffing issues

Prof. Prasad pledges support to improve Fiji Corrections Service staffing issues

By Marika Rasekaseka
Saturday 08/06/2024
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman

While addressing the significant staffing concerns within the Fiji Corrections Service, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad has vowed to assist in improving the current staffing structure.

The Deputy Prime Minister made this call after adhering to the revelation made by the newly appointed Commissioner of Corrections, Dr. Jalesi Nakarawa regarding the inefficiencies and disorganisation under the previous leadership.

During a recent meeting at Ro Lalabalavu House in Suva, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Corrections Service leadership outlined plans to regularise positions, eliminate misuse-prone temporary appointments and ensure merit-based appointments are made.

Dr. Nakarawa says under the former Commissioner's directives, units were created and staff were deployed in a disorganised manner, severely impacting the operational integrity of the Corrections Service.

Dr Nakarawa also highlighted the urgent need to address the slash-and-burn approach that led to the trading off of positions and the creation of new ones without proper evaluation, adversely affecting staffing accuracy and budgetary allocations.

He adds that the FCS will now embark on a critical review to establish a stable staff structure, essential for effective manpower planning and operational efficiency where this exercise is expected to be completed by mid-July and ensure that future manpower planning is based on accurate and jointly approved data.

The Deputy Prime Minister acknowledged these issues, noting that the haphazard decision-making process made it challenging to ascertain accurate staffing figures.

Professor Prasad also emphasised the importance of regularising and confirming all established positions and phasing out temporary appointments, which are prone to misuse, and replacing them with merit-based acting appointments, accompanied by appropriate allowances.

The commitment from both the Ministry of Finance and the FCS leadership signals a strong move towards improved governance and operational stability within the Fiji Corrections Service.

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