Changes to government departments in public sector structural reforms approved by Cabinet

Premier Dalton Tagelagi has confirmed that the Cabinet has approved changes to the organisational structure of some of the ministries and departments of the public service.

Premier Tagelagi was on News of the Week programme last week said that these structural changes should have been implemented a few years ago but he is confident that the changes will improve the way the government operates but he is aware that some people will not be happy about these changes.

“I know that some of them will be not very happy because they are used to their old ways,” says Premier Tagelagi.

He said that these changes are aligned with international standards and make sense to implement them such as creating a new Finance ministry, which used to be a central agency will be a new Ministry of Finance and Economics.

“This is the heart of any government. It’s financial matters that need to be strengthened”.

The department of Cabinet and Parliamentary Services will be de-established. This re-structure will see the Legislative arm of the government separated from the Executive arm which will be served by a new department called the Premier’s department.

Some of these changes will see new departments established under the Ministry of Natural Resources such as the Department of Fisheries.

Fisheries is currently a division of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry but in these changes, it will become a standalone department.

Another new department for the Ministry of Natural Resources is the Climate Change department. According to the Premier, the government is responding to the significance of climate change and the climate funding for that portfolio deserves to be a standalone department.

The Ministry of Social Services will largely remain unchanged but the sports development unit will be boosted as a government division and will be relocated from the Community Affairs to come under the Education department.

Premier Tagelagi said that these changes were identified in a report by Human resource expert Dr. Matagialofi Luaiufi who conducted the review of the public sector in 2011, but most of the recommendations were not actioned.

The government will be creating a new Policy Management Unit made up of the Director Generals who will be based at the new Fale Fono.

BCN news will be speaking with the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission Ida Talagi-Hekesi who will explain the finer details of the restructuring of government departments later this week.

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