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Calls to table reports

Dawn Gibson
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

ALTHOUGH all pitted against one another for a spot in parliament, political parties have raised their voices in unison calling for the publication of the Auditor-General's reports for the past few years.

The reports, which have not been seen for more than seven years now, were being scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which was dissolved by government earlier this year, with Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum saying a new committee would be formed once parliament resumes.

"When it does, all of the reports compiled by the Auditor-General will be considered by the committee and be tabled in parliament," he said in an earlier report to this newspaper.

FLP, SODELPA, PDP, NFP and Roshika Deo all say the importance of the reports cannot be downplayed, particularly with elections looming.

FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry claims the Voreqe Bainimarama-led government's refusal to disclose these financial requirements meant the taxpayers of Fiji had no idea how their monies were being used and whether budgetary allocations made for each year were being adhered to, and used for the purpose allocated.

Additionally, NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad said they were "appalled" at the dissolving of the PAC just before the election.

"The government must explain to the people of this country the state of government finances, how government budgets have been administered over the last seven years … people of this country need answers."

PDP party leader Felix Anthony said it was vital government made public the records of how taxpayers money had been spent.

"If this government is expecting the people of this country to judge them by their track record then it is essential that these reports be made public."

Ms Deo said because the role of such reports was so vital to any nation, they must be made public.

"Being denied the Auditor-General's reports is a denial of public accountability and transparency.

"We need to know whether or not our public money has been used and managed in an effective manner," the leader of the Be The Change campaign said.





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