THERE is still too much red tape, buck-passing, incompetence, slackness and corruption in the country's civil service.
And the government is working to change the culture of the civil service so that it responds better to the needs of Fijians.
This was revealed by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama during the opening of the Government Service Centre in Nausori yesterday.
Commodore Bainimarama said he regarded the delivery of basic services to all Fijians as government's main priority.
"I want government to keep its promises to the people to deliver, not just pay lip-service to the idea, which is what we all know happened in the past," he said.
He said it was not good enough to make speeches in Suva.
"I have made it my mission to get out into the country, to meet ordinary people, understand their concerns and do what I can to address their needs."
Commodore Bainimarama said the launching of the first GSC brought the government closer to the people.
"This one in Nausori is for residents of the Central Division. Later in the week, I'll be opening another one in Lautoka for the Western Division.
"The third is in Labasa for the Northern Division and should be operational by the first week of December."
"The GSC means what it says service. We are serving the people, the taxpayers and their dependents who deserve much higher standards of attention, efficiency, courtesy and respect," the Prime Minister said.
He said these centres would provide a single point -a one-stop shop- for at least 20 separate government agencies.
"We have reviewed and re-engineered the functions, systems and processes of the various ministries. We have embraced the use of information technology to transform the operations of government," he said.
The Prime Minister appealed to those who will resource these GSCs to set a new standard of service to show Fijians that government really cared.
"Let's start showing the same level of consideration in government for all Fijians," Commodore Bainimarama said.
He said this was part of government's vision for a new Fiji, to make life easier for every Fijian dealing with government departments and agencies.