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Fiji Time: 10:49 AM on Friday 18 April

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Bureaucracy challenge

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, December 12, 2013

BUREAUCRACY continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing the civil service.

Former High Court judge Nazhat Shameem made this remark while addressing delegates at the conference on the topic 'Holding Public Officers Accountable' at the 15th Attorney General's Conference in Natadola last Friday.

"In my opinion, one problem with accountability in Fiji is there are too many lines of bureaucratic accountability," Ms Shameem said.

"I think the challenge is too many lines of accountability, too much bureaucracy, too many forms to fill, too many people to ask and too many approvals.

"So I think that is a real problem with accountability in Fiji.

"And none of those lines of accountability appear to lead to the public.

"They just lead to another government agency.

"For those who are not in government service, you know exactly what I mean — queuing, waiting, telephones, letters and still not getting any answers."

Ms Shameem said other issues that affected accountability in the public service was a real danger that people used administrative accountability to control people or control institutions which were supposed to be independent.

"There is a very close relationship between the budget and the ability to function and I don't think that in Fiji's history, we have ever been able to properly resolve it."