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PUBLIC ENTERPRISE REFORMS IN FIJI
HOW NOT TO PRIVATISE:
THE CASE OF GOVERNMENT SHIPYARD AND PUBLIC SLIPWAYS
Jashwini Jothishna Narayan
Undoubtedly, public enterprise reforms have taken the world by storm. Likewise, Fiji is no exception. This island nation has witnessed economic recession and structural adjustment policies since 1987. Local authors assert that the reasons behind reforms in Fiji involve a combination of internal as well as external factors. The very first corporatisation process eventuated in four companies namely, Post and Telecommunications Department; Ika Corporation; Fiji Pine Commission and National Marketing Authority between 1990 and 1992. Till to date, the one and only government owned section that underwent privatisation in Fiji was the Government Shipyard and Public Slipways.
Much to everyone’s dismay, the privatisation of Government Shipyard and Public Slipways (April 1996) failed miserably as the privatised entity faced receivership.
This eBook discusses the ‘back to square one cycle’ with phases of: a national entity, the privatisation of it and again the re-nationalisation of it. While some say that it was the major shipbuilding project disaster and the continued unmanageable financial burden on the state that prompted this privatisation, others felt it was a political ploy for personal gains for some ministers. Whatever the actual motivations, numerous recommendations were put onto paper well before the actual privatisation process. In many instances, the workers showed great dislike for the process but the same was pushed down their throats without proper consultation and without proper education of what this concept was all about.
To put it simply, this eBook highlights ‘How Not to Privatise’.
Jashwini Jothishna Narayan - Department of Management and Public Administration, Faculty of Business & Economics, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji. Her areas of research interest are: public sector reforms and governance.