The Public Service Commission (Commission) has, with the agreement of the Prime Minister, appointed the following persons as a Permanent Secretary. All five of the newly announced Permanent Secretaries are Fijian citizens.
Ministry of Defence and National Security – Manasa Lesuma
Lesuma is currently the CEO of the National Fire Authority and was previously the Deputy Secretary for Operations in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, a role he held from 2011 to 2018. He is an engineer by profession and has a good appreciation of the Fijian landscape. As CEO of the National Fire Authority he has proactively led major reforms, particularly the expansion of the ‘footprint’ of the NFA and more efficient delivery of services. He will take up his position as soon as he can separate from the NFA.
Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services – Taitusi Vakadravuyaca
Vakadravuyaca returns to the Ministry having started his career there in the Public Works Department. Taitusi is a civil engineer with relevant experience in Fiji’s land and water resource management groups, and in the transition from the National Roads group to the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA). In addition to his work in land and water resource management he was Project Civil Engineer for FEA’s Nadarivatu Hydropower Project. For the past five years he has had roles of progressively more responsibility in the Water Authority in Fiji. He currently shares acting CEO responsibility with his peers.
Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources – Josefa Caniogo
Caniogo started his career as a draftsman with what was the Native Land Trust Board and then had ten years as a supervisor of roads and quarries with the then Ministry of Infrastructure and Utilities. He moved into the commercial sector in 2000 as a Business Development Manager for Orica Coatings, was a Terminal Manager for Shell Fiji and was then with Fiji Holdings Limited. For the past three years he has been UNDP’s country coordinator for the Development of Minerals Program.
Ministry of Local Government – Jovilisi Suveinakama
Following completion of his law degree, Jovilisi spent two years as a Solicitor in Fiji having been admitted to the High Court of Fiji and later the Supreme Court of Samoa. From 2003 to 2017 he was an Advisor, and then the General Manager and Coordinator of Tokelau’s National Public Service. In doing so he acquired experience in advising and co-ordinating complex arrangements and played an important role in the evolution of government systems and processes in this remote island territory. He completed his work in Tokelau in 2017 and returned home to Fiji where he has been working with and advising his indigenous land-owning unit in the Suva area on their strategic plan and its implementation.
Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation – Jennifer Poole
Ms. Poole has a strong and proven track record of leadership in civil society and development organisations. She currently leads Medical Services Pacific, an organisation she founded in Fiji as a national and regional NGO. She started her career as a program coordinator with Care Australia and was then posted to Bosnia where she delivered UN funded construction and aid projects. Her career progressed with roles based in Australia and postings to other conflict zones as emergency services program manager, consultant, peace building advisor and county program manager. This included nearly three years in the Solomon Islands, as well as postings in Lesotho, Banda Aceh (following the tsunami), Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The selection and appointment of these new Permanent Secretaries followed an extensive open merit recruitment and selection process conducted by the Commission with the assistance of the recruitment company NGS Global.
The officers appointed bring significant qualifications, skills and experience to the Civil Service, particularly relevant to their areas of appointment.