CHANGES were made to the Fiji Constitutional Process (Constitution Commission) Decree 2012 by Cabinet yesterday.
The changes require the commission to publish the names and salaries of all its staff and consultants after Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama instructed the government to alter the terms of the decree covering the commission's activities.
The decision was made following the Prime Minister's disappointment over the appointment of Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi as a consultant to the commission after the latter was part of a delegation that made a submission to the Constitution Commission which contravened one of the non-negotiable principles.
"The commission is in breach of provisions in the decree that stipulate that its staff and consultants must observe the non-negotiable principles and be politically neutral," Commodore Bainimarama said in a statement.
"One of these principles is a secular state in line with democracies like the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
"Ratu Joni was party to a submission by a delegation calling for the declaration of a Christian State in Fiji.
"It now transpires that he did this while being a paid consultant to the commission, which makes his position untenable."
Commodore Bainimarama said the government had been perplexed to learn that Ratu Joni had actually been a paid consultant to the commission from the beginning of October yet this only became public knowledge last week.
"His contract, which has been shown to me for the first time, says he started work with the commission on October the first and it expired yesterday," he said.
"I am extremely disappointed to discover this and to find that he was being paid a daily rate as a consultant when he filed in with the delegation to argue against fundamental principles on October the 12th as reported in the media," he added.
Constitution Commission's media liaison officer Mitleshni Gurdayal said last night that commission chairman Prof Yash Ghai was pre-occupied with the religion and state seminar at the University of the South Pacific and had not seen the statement.
However, a member of the commission, Taufa Vakatale, said they would issue a statement today.