Home » Uncategorized » Since the coup, Fiji’s economy has been stagnant with an annual growth rate of just 0.7 per cent. This compares with 2.5 per cent growth in the years preceding the coup.

Since the coup, Fiji’s economy has been stagnant with an annual growth rate of just 0.7 per cent. This compares with 2.5 per cent growth in the years preceding the coup.

AUSTRALIAN public servants can learn nothing from Fiji’s bureaucracy, says a  Fijian academic expelled from the country and now based in Canberra.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s meeting a fortnight ago to repair relations  with the country ruled by Commodore Frank Bainimarama included a low-key public  servant exchange program between the two nations.

But, said Australian National University’s Professor Brij Lal,  Canberra  bureaucrats will learn nothing in Suva where the heads of departments are  military men.

”Their presence at the top stifles process,” Professor Lal said.

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”They’re not accountable to the public service commission but report  straight to the commodore.

”If you write to any civil servant asking them for an answer, you won’t get  an answer. Everyone is scared of putting an answer down on paper – it’s the fear  factor.

”If there’s a genuine openness to reinvigorate the Fijian public service,  unaffected by dictation from the top, that’s good.”

Commodore Bainimarama, the son of civil servants, has himself had first-hand  experience of the public service.

Once, in 2002, he even reportedly attended courses in leadership and change  management and policy planning analysis.

But after his 2006 coup, he sacked Public Service Commission chairman Stuart  Huggett and there were unconfirmed reports at the time that Mr Huggett was  assaulted.

In 2009 Fiji expelled Australia’s top public servant in the country, high  commissioner James Batley.

Fijian-born Professor Lal – now an Australian citizen  – was expelled from  his country after criticising the decision. Fiji last year refused entry to  Australia’s proposed high commissioner, Margaret Twomey.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says Fiji’s economy and living standards  have been affected by the 2006 coup, particularly because regime supporters and  military leaders have been appointed to boards.

Since the coup, Fiji’s economy has been stagnant with an annual growth rate  of just 0.7 per cent. This compares  with 2.5 per cent growth in the years  preceding the coup.

It has only been in the past two years  that there has been signs of  recovery

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/australia-can-learn-nothing-from-fiji-public-service-says-academic-20140308-34eid.html#ixzz2vPi1EFyV

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2 thoughts on “Since the coup, Fiji’s economy has been stagnant with an annual growth rate of just 0.7 per cent. This compares with 2.5 per cent growth in the years preceding the coup.

  1. it’s not for learning that the Australian public servants have been deposited in Fiji . It’s for politics – the politics of expediency.

  2. Military schools dont teach Public Policy! if they do its all theory and no practice. and how can you expect them to understand the complexities of a multi racial society and global economy demands onthe local. They still think in Strategic defence with multiple casualties expected.

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