19 April, 2012. Government's commitment to streamlining the public service and undertaking its reform program to achieve a more effective, efficient and affordable services for the public continues with strong momentum. To this end, Cabinet revised the new Government Structure to 14 Ministries, as set out below (the slight revision from the prior approved 13 Ministries was the Ministry of Revenue Services as a standalone Ministry).
1. Foreign Affairs & Trade
2. Prime Minister's Office
3. Finance & National Planning
4. Revenue Services
5. Public Enterprises
6. Internal Affairs
8. Police, Prisons & Fire Services
10. Education & Training
11. Commerce & Tourism
12. Agriculture, Food, Forests & Fisheries
14. Lands, Environment, Climate Change & Natural Resource
From late January, efforts to recruit 2 vacant and 4 new CEO positions commenced following confirmation of the Government structure and all CEO roles are expected to be filled before 1 July 2012
The Working Group on Government Structural Reform (WGGSR) commenced detailed discussions with line Ministries early in the year on the implementation of the new structure whilst ensuring the stable performance of the public service is maintained during the transition period. Work of the WGGSR to support the line Ministries through the transition period resulted in the delivery of corporate planning guidelines to achieve more targeted outcomes; staffing guidelines and a recruitment freeze from March to June to ensure effective management of staffing impacts and allocation of staffing resources for the new Ministries; and also budget guidelines that focus on fiscal stability and doing more with less considering the challenging economic conditions.
The key areas for the budget strategy cover: promoting overall economic growth as well as improved opportunities in the communities throughout the Kingdom, and continuing the public service reform programme with a strong focus on greater transparency and accountability.
Mishka Tu'ifua, Chair of the WGGSR, stated that "the inevitable challenges of a major structural reform undertaking by Government in the time provided, has been mitigated through the strong political will of Cabinet and the diligent management of Government CEOs to ensure that staffing matters are managed effectively and preparations for the new structure is planned accordingly." This will directly result in meeting the implementation schedule of Ministries corporate plans[p2] , staffing, budgets and legislative changes completed by end of April 2012 and considered by Cabinet before the 2012/2013 Budget is submitted to the Legislative Assembly.
Effective from 1 May 2012, and in line with restructuring, the following ministerial re-assignments will take place:
1. Hon. Lisiate ‘Aloveita ‘Akolo, Minister for Finance & National Planning
2. Hon. Sunia Manu Fili, Minister for Police, Prisons & Fire Services
3. Hon. Sosefo Fe'aomoeata Vakata, Minister for Revenue Services
4. Lord Vaea, Minister for Training, Employment, Youth and Sports, Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forests and Fisheries
Implementing the new structure of Government are the first steps in Government's efforts to transform the public service into a more efficient, cost effective and responsive organization, along with the needed mindset change to bring about a more productive and performing public service. Government has secured technical support from a number of development partners to help continue with the transformation, including ongoing reform work to planning and public financial management, as well as management of the public service incorporating in improved staff performance management system and capability training programs.
Issued by the Prime Minister Office, Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, P.O. Box 62, Nuku'alofa.