The Permanent Secretary of PSC, Mr Pramesh Chand (left) and the Director of PICPA, Mr Siosiua ‘Utoikamanu (right) at the signing.
The Fiji Public Service Commission (PSC) recently signed a partnership agreement with the Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA) and the Regional Centre for Continuing and Community Education (RCCCE) of the University of the South Pacific, enabling PSC to seek technical and training assistance to improve service delivery through establishments of the Service Fiji Centres (SFCs).
The SFCs are aimed at improving Government’s service to the public.
The agreement was signed on 25 July, 2012 between the Permanent Secretary of PSC, Mr Pramesh Chand and the newly appointed Director of PICPA, Mr Siosiua ‘Utoikamanu.
Speaking at the signing which was held at the USP Statham Campus in Suva, Mr ‘Utoikamanu said PICPA views its contribution to the training programme of the staff of the SFCs as part of an on-going partnership with PSC towards the overall objective of raising the level of individual competency of the public service with the goal of improving the delivery of services to the peoples of Fiji.
“PICPA’s mission is to provide sound and timely advice and services, such as trainings to improve workforce development capabilities and the individual competencies of civil servants,” he continued.
PICPA was established in 2010 as a result of the recognition by AusAID and USP, following consultations with Pacific Island Countries (PICs) that the civil services of these countries faced various challenges which inhibited the achievement of national development goals.
One of the key challenges, according to the PICPA Director, is the need to strengthen the capacities of the civil services to design and implement coherent public policies.
This challenge, he said is being addressed by PICPA by strengthening the capability of the civil services of PICs to fulfill their mandates through the development of individual competencies (including knowledge, skills and attitudes) linked to organizational capabilities.
Mr ‘Utoikamanu acknowledged the contribution by the staff of RCCCE and PICPA in designing and delivering the training programme as well as the strong support provided by the Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra, in setting up PICPA at USP.
There are currently 25 officers who have started with the first module of the training programme.
Mr Chand said that not only those participating in the training are benefitting but the whole exercise has been an eye-opener for the PSC trainers as well.
“The diagnostic tests and other learning tools that have been used by USP, to design the course, has contributed greatly to the work of our own trainers,” he added.
Mr Chand said that while only 25 participants took part in the training, the impact will not be confined to them only.
“It will cascade down to the thousands of customers that will be served at the SFC counters.”
The Permanent Secretary acknowledged the vast contribution of AusAID and USP, and for allowing the Commission to come on board and be part of the regional programme.
“This has been a milestone for the Commission, and indeed, we could not have done this without AusAID, PICPA and USP,” he stated.
SFCs are expected to open in Suva, Nausori, Labasa and Lautoka by the end of the year.