A CASE OF THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK

Tribunal to take over PSC disciplinary role

Illegal Government will set up a tribunal to deal with disciplinary matters in the public service so the Public Service Commission can focus on other important matters, permanent secretary to the PSC, Parmesh Chand has announced.

Opening a PSC workshop in Suva today on dealing with disciplinary procedures in the civil service, Chand told senior civil servants that because of the number of cases being brought before the commission, there was a need to speed up the process.

“The establishment of a disciplinary tribunal is in the pipeline with the primary objective of hearing all disciplinary cases. The commission will no longer be hearing these disciplinary cases. Since the tribunal’s proceeding will be similar to that of a magistrate’s court, it is important that officers appearing before the tribunal are well versed with prosecution methods and procedures” said Chand.

“The administrative machinery of the State must be improved and made more efficient to meet the demands of a rapidly changing domestic and global environment,” he said.

Prominent weaknesses in the process included delays in the processing of disciplinary cases and the issuance of disclosures.

“Some cases have been lost for the simple reason that there is a mismatch between charge and evidence. Furthermore, quite often, it is obvious that the vetting process is thorough and detailed and lastly quite disappointingly, some ministries send inexperienced officers to disciplinary hearings,” Chand told the workshop.

A three-month time frame has been set for the hearing of disciplinary matters against civil servants.

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