The Solomon Islands Government (SIG) yesterday has announced an important step in its ongoing program to improve and replenish the public service.

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Public Services, Mr Ishmael Avui, announced a retirement program for government officers over the age of 55 throughout the public service.

Mr Avui said the retirement program would create opportunities for current serving officers to further their careers and for the recruitment of potential public servants.

"We need to continue improving the capacity of the Solomon Islands Public Service to meet the needs of the people," Mr Avui said.

Ministry records have identified 120 public servants aged 55 and beyond who will retire this year under the program.

The Ministries of Health & Medical Services and Agriculture & Livestock have the highest numbers of officers who have reached 55 years and above - the former with 45 officers in this category and the later with 19.

Mr Avui said the SIG recognized the contributions of the retirees for their decades of excellent service to the government and people of Solomon Islands.

He said all retiring public servants would receive their full entitlements.

To appropriately implement the program, the Under Secretary for Human Resources, Mrs Nancy Legua has been tasked to lead and coordinate the retirement exercise.

Her team will consult all the concerned Ministries and Departments starting on the 15th to 30th April, 2009.

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