SODELPA seeks to reinstate HSC, review CEO/PS salaries

Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), Fiji’s main opposition party, is working toward reinstating the Higher Salaries Commission (HSC) and reviewing the government’s investment in state entities.

Party leader Viliame Gavoka said in reinstating the abolished commission, SODELPA would make amendments to its role and function, allowing it to review or set salaries of CEOs particularly heads of state entities based on their performance via the returns they make on government’s investment.

Established in 1983, the HSC was set up to determine the salaries and benefits for people holding senior positions in government such as the permanent secretaries and state-owned entities such as Post Fiji, as well as salaries of CEOs of city, town, and district councils. It was abolished 11 years ago this month by the cabinet via the HSC Act 2011 following a submission by the Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who reasoned that amongst other things the commission’s processes were cumbersome, bureaucratic, and in determining the remuneration of the positions, failed to obtain a proper independent assessment. Although abolished, the Act gave the role of determining CEO’s salaries to each entity’s board of directors in the case of state entities, whilst that for permanent secretaries’ to the Public Service Commission (PSC) following the prime minister’s approval. For CEOs of town, district, and city councils, this was determined by the Minister for Local Government upon the approval of the PM.

In terms of the government’s investment in state entities, Gavoka said because a lot of public funds have been tied into these enterprises, the party would review it and make the necessary amendments by investing in those that are profitable and churn out good returns.

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