Scholarship Opportunities (March 2015)


The Government of China is offering ten(10) scholarships to nationals of Forum Island Countries under the China – PIFS Scholarship Scheme for 2015/16.

Attached a circular and information from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) on the scholarship and also instructions on how to apply CSC online application for international students.

Note that potential applicants should select three(3) preferred institutions from the information available on the website of the China Scholarship Council visit

• Complete a Foreigner Physical Examination Form
• Complete the application form (application form available online)
• Copies of necessary supporting documents

Initial screening of applications will be undertaken by the Forum Secretariat and the final processing by the China Scholarship Council, where successful applicants will be contacted directly by the China Scholarship Council.

OPSC would appreciate if completed applications be received by Tuesday 7th April 2015 for processing. … read more

Neves Interim Financial Secretary Until Henderson Takes Over (March 2015)

Richard Nevesgarth 03

Pictured L-R: Richard Neves and Garth Henderson

Richard Neves has been reappointed as the Financial Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) until the end of this year. Cabinet endorsed Neves reappointment until December 2015. Neves will then be replaced by Cook Island Maori, Mr Garth Henderson on a three year term.

Public Service Commissioner, Mr Russell Thomas explained, “Neves will be expected to transfer knowledge and work programmes led by the Ministry of Finance to Henderson, allowing a smooth transition from his current role with the Te Mato Vai project to Financial Secretary role with minimal disruption to both the project and MFEM.”

During his term Neves’ has lead: the inclusion of the departure tax into airline tickets, implementation of government tax reforms reducing PAYE and increasing VAT rates, improving the transparency of budget documentation and reporting on government finances, the introduction of a more efficient … read more

Job Description Training for over 70 Public Servants (March 2015)

 The Office of the Public Service Commissioner coordinated training for over 70 public servants this week, delivered by HR Consultant Geoff Summers from Strategic Pay – a New Zealand HR Consultancy firm.

The training was delivered over two days at the USP campus in Avarua as a ‘follow-on’ from job evaluation training completed in 2014.

“We are excited to have so many people trained on how to write job descriptions and evaluate jobs across the public sector, and certain private sector organisations” said OPSC CEO, Daphne Ringi.

Summers explained “well written job descriptions help clarify role expectations in recruitment, support good job evaluations, establish key result areas for performance development, and guide learning and development pathways for any given position”.

Public Service Commissioner Russell Thomas was pleased with the success of the training and advised participants to “use the knowledge and skills gained within their respective organisations, and to be read more

2014 Cook Islands Labour Market Remuneration Survey Published (March 2015)

APicture1 recently published Cook Islands Labour Market Remuneration Survey commissioned by the Office of the Public Service Commissioner, was presented to participating organisations by Strategic Pay Consultant Mr Geoff Summers this week. Fifty three organisations participated in the survey, capturing remuneration data for 2,620 individual employees, representing almost 40% of the national workforce, based on the 2011 Census.

The Survey found 57% of participating organisations reported no salary increases over the past year and for the coming year. Performance was the strongest driver for determining salary increases across all employee categories. Forty five percent of participants reported they had a formal annual salary review process in place, with July being the most popular month for salary reviews to be effective from. Most participants offered between 10-30 days annual leave and 10 days sick leave per annum. Fifty-one percent found difficultly in recruiting or retaining staff in one or more functions. … read more

Public Policy Analysis Training 2014

29 Sept – 3 Oct 2014: About 60 senior public officials completed two 2-day training sessions in Public Policy Analysis Training conducted by the Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA) and funded by the Australian Government.  This was in response to the public sector capability needs survey commissioned by the Office of the Public Service Commissioner (OPSC) in 2012 and April 2014.  It identified analytical thinking and problem solving as a critical capability need across the Cook Islands Public Service, highlighting the need for up-skilling of senior public officials in policy analysis. This training complemented recent policy development training conducted by the Central Policy and Planning division of the Office of the Prime Minister in August 2014.

The Public Policy Analysis workshop focused on defining problems, developing solutions and analysing decisions.  The main aim was to develop policy analysis skills of senior government officials to understand the concepts, approaches

read more

CITAF Mid Term Review

The Cook Islands Technical Assistance Fund (CITAF) is a $2,970,000 fund established to be a flexible mechanism for responding to capacity and capability development needs of the Cook Islands Government (CIGov). The aim of the fund is to provide financial support for short and long term projects, improve financial management, service delivery and administration of the Public Service.  CITAF is a donor funded programme by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is administered by the Cook Islands Office of the Public Service Commissioner.  CITAF is planned to run from the 15 December 2011 to 30 June 2015. In January 2013 a mid-term review was conducted to determine how well the fund was meeting its short and long term outcomes and outputs. The review was carried out in Rarotonga using a participatory research approach.  Data was obtained through key stakeholder interviews, document analysis and a survey of … read more