Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s Speech at the Opening of the Nausori Government Service Centre

Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all.

As your Prime Minister, I regard the delivery of basic services to all Fijians as the Government’s main priority.

I want Government to keep its promises to the people to deliver, not just pay lip service to the idea, which is what we all know happened in the past.

Keeping promises is one thing. But Government also has to be present in our communities and actively engage with them.

It’s not good enough to make speeches in Suva. I have made it my mission to get out into the country, to meet ordinary people, understand their concerns and do what I can to address their needs.

That is why it gives me so much pleasure today to be among you in Nausori to launch another milestone in Fiji’s development – Government for the people, with the people.

Today, we’re launching the first of our Government Service Centres to bring us closer to the people. This one in Nausori is for residents of the Central Division. Later in the week, I’ll be opening another one in Lautoka for the Western Division.

The third is in Labasa for the Northern Division and should be operational by the first week of December.

And the present Government Information Referral Centre in downtown Suva will soon be re-branded as a Government Service Centre or GSC for Suva and surrounding areas of the capital.

The GSC means what it says – service. We are serving the people, the taxpayers and their dependents who deserve much higher standards of attention, efficiency, courtesy and respect.

These centres will provide a single point – a one-stop shop – for at least 20 separate Government agencies.

We’ve reviewed and re-engineered the functions, systems and processes of the various Ministries.

We’ve embraced the use of information technology to transform the operations of Government.

And most importantly, we are working to change the culture of the Civil Service so that it responds better to the needs of our people.

There is still too much red tape, buck-passing, incompetence, slackness and corruption.

But fortunately the majority of civil servants work diligently, competently and wear the tag of servant to the nation with pride.

I appeal to those who will resource these GSC’s to set a new standard of service, to show our people that Government really cares.

We have a new Fijian Hosts program at Nadi Airport in which front-line workers are urged to show Fiji’s friendliest face to our overseas visitors.

Let’s start showing the same level of consideration in Government for all Fijians.

This is part of our vision for a new Fiji, to make life easier for every Fijian dealing with Government Departments and Agencies.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have much pleasure in declaring this Government Service Centre open.

Thank you. Vinaka vakalevu.