A member of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji (NCBBF), Josefa Serulagilagi, was appointed Chairman of the Public Service Commission last week.
The PSC Members are the former acting PSC Chairman Dr Mohamed Yunush, Udai Raj Prasad and Claire Aull. All appointments were made under Section 11 of the State Services Decree by the President on the advice of the (interim) Prime Minister.
Serulagilagi was a career civil servant. He was the Commissioner in the 1990’s and a Permanent Secretary/Chief Executive Officer in the Regional Development Ministry, during the term of the SDL Government. He is currently Chairman of Rewa Dairy Corporation.
Yunush was the acting Chairman appointed early this year following the exit of Rishi Ram. He runs a dental surgery in Nadi.
Claire Aull is the wife of former General Voters Party Parliamentarian Bill Aull, who was an MP and supported the Rabuka Government from June 1992 to March 1999, then the Mahendra Chaudhry’s government from May 1999 to May 2000.
Udai Raj Prasad was made redundant when the financially insolvent National Bank of Fiji underwent restructuring in the mid-1990’s after the famous $250 million financial scandal. Since then, he has been jobless – apart from being a part-time tutor at the Central Queensland University (CQU) campus in Suva, The university closed down more than 2 years ago.
Serulagilagi did not qualify for appointment under the 1997 Constitution because he was disqualified under Section 145(1) (a) that states “Any Member of either House of Parliament (Senator and House of Representatives) or a member of a local authority or of another representative body prescribed by Parliament”. That is why he could not be appointed acting PSC Chairman after Rishi Ram’s Departure.
Similarly, the interim regime appointed Yunush, despite being reminded that he was a national office bearer of a political party (Management Board of the SDL). He said he quit in November 2006 but the SDL maintains he is still a Board Member.