MEDIA RELEASE (19 February 2015)

The Hon Prime Minister wishes to announce that it has responded to a letter received on 19 January 2015 from the Public Service Association (PSA) regarding issues directly related to the public service.

After the letter was received from the PSA, on Thursday 22 January 2014 the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers convened at the Fa‟onelua Convention Centre to receive an oral presentation of the PSA‟s concerns from the Secretary-General Ms Mele „Amanaki and the President Mr ViliHelu. This was the first time that a Cabinet had offered such a forum to the PSA, since its establishment.

In his letter of response, the Hon Prime Minister thanked the PSA for its support of the new Government, and its stance on adherence to the principles of the rule of law and good governance. However the Hon Prime Minister reminded the PSA that the PSA should also do its part to encourage and remind its members to perform their roles and functions in the public service with integrity, and in an effective and efficient manner in the public interest.

The Hon Prime Minister also thanked the PSA for its offer to establish between Cabinet and the PSA a “Partnership of Public Service Quality”. The Hon Prime Minister welcomed the offer, and proposed that the arrangement with PSA be limited to regular consultations and dialogue only in relation to the issues pertinent and directly relevant to the public service.

The main issues raised by the PSA in its letter were in relation to the post of the Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet, the Public Service Tribunal, the Public Service Commission, and the Remuneration Authority. The Hon Prime Minister reaffirmed to the Secretary General of PSA that his government will look into those other matters being raised and endeavour to address them appropriately.

Additionally, the Hon Prime Minister explained that the answers to most of these concerns were already provided for under the law, and so the answers were clear and certain. Some issues were being addressed, and after due consideration others would be resolved in the future.