What We Ex­pect of MPs, Civil Ser­vants

Fiji Sun - - EXPLAINER - Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

All civil ser­vants, all elected Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and any per­son hold­ing a high of­fice in pub­lic ser­vice need to ad­here to cer­tain stan­dards.

This should go with­out say­ing.

There is an ex­pec­ta­tion that those who rep­re­sent the peo­ple in Par­lia­ment will be held to the high­est of the stan­dards and when they de­vi­ate from such stan­dards, they ought to be taken to task.

What are the ex­pec­ta­tions of the pub­lic? We as pub­lic ex­pect ev­ery MP, for ex­am­ple, to be hon­est and fair in all their deal­ings, to main­tain a cer­tain level of deco­rum inside and out­side Par­lia­ment, not to en­gage in lewd dis­cus­sions, and to be hon­est and trans­par­ent in all their fi­nan­cial deal­ings.

Fi­nances:

While en­gag­ing in any form of fi­nan­cial deal­ings, all civil ser­vants and those elected to rep­re­sent the peo­ple, need to be very trans­par­ent. They do not hold those po­si­tions to fill their own pock­ets.

They have not been placed in the civil ser­vice and in Par­lia­ment to look out for their own selves. They should not see their seat in Par­lia­ment and com­mit­tee sit­tings as a means to earn hefty al­lowances.

In­stead, all MPs who sit in com­mit­tees should be mind­ful of the fact that the longer they sit on a par­tic­u­lar bill, the more money tax­pay­ers pay them.

They should not dilly dally on is­sues but in an open and trans­par­ent man­ner deal with is­sues ex­pe­di­tiously.

Pub­lic be­hav­iour:

All MPs, civil ser­vants are ex­pected to main­tain deco­rum at all times. We used to hear sto­ries of late night par­ties where tax payer funded al­co­hol and kava was con­sumed like wa­ter.

Thank­fully, this has not been the case un­der Fi­jiFirst’s watch but this is a per­ti­nent is­sue which all MPs need to be aware of. Peo­ple do not ex­pect our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives to be out drink­ing the night away at tax­payer funded events.

Ser­vice for all:

One is­sue that Fi­jiFirst and its leader Voreqe Bain­i­marama took head on was to do away with racial rep­re­sen­ta­tions. The one man, one vote was the step in this di­rec­tion.

Ev­ery MP and civil ser­vant need to re­mem­ber that they are in of­fice for ev­ery Fi­jian and not peo­ple from their own vil­lage or town or neigh­bour­hood only.

They are not in the of­fice to serve peo­ple from their own re­li­gious groups, or the Old Girls and Old Boys of their for­mer schools. Ev­ery MP and civil ser­vant need to re­mem­ber that they serve all Fi­jians.

As­sis­tance such as post-Cy­clone food dis­tri­bu­tion should be done with­out any form of dis­crim­i­na­tion. This is where post TC Win­ston food packs made by Gov­ern­ment was a right move.

Each fam­ily based on the size of the fam­ily was handed one or two packs. This is a prac­tice that needs to be main­tained at all times. And, the onus is on civil ser­vants, the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives- the MPs and Min­is­ters to en­sure that this prac­tice which stems out any form of dis­crim­i­na­tion is up­held.

Jy­oti Prat­i­bha

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