Operating procedure for disbursement queried

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa speaking during the UNHR Multi- Stakeholders' Consultations at Holiday Inn Suva. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation team was today questioned by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the Auditor- General’s (OAG) findings on its 2016 audit.

The PAC had noted that a lot of issues were raised on the disbursement of the TC Winston Funds assistance to welfare beneficiaries.

The OAG had concluded that in the absence of a standard operating procedure on the disbursement of grant fund of $20.2m given by the Ministry of Economy the payment may not be equitable for all beneficiaries.

The PS, Dr. Josefa Koroivueta said they didn’t want to miss out any social welfare recipient and since they already had the platform of the social protection programs they could utilise for this for the  disbursement.

“And we made the decision to pay out all the social welfare beneficiaries based on the fact that TC Winston had basically affected the whole of Fiji, whether direct or indirect,” Dr Koroivueta said.

Dr Koroivueta said all the existing beneficiaries of the ministry’s social protection program benefitted.