THE Fijian Elections Office (FEO) will spend about $4 million to recruit about 17,000 polling workers for the 2018 General Election.
This was confirmed by the Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem yesterday as his office commenced preparation for the much-anticipated election.
At a press conference, Mr Saneem said his office would focus on the procurement of election materials, preparations of training manuals and guidelines, finalisation of polling materials and finalisation of polling and pre-poll venues.
"The FEO will also be submitting to the Electoral Commission various requirements under the Fiji Constitution and the Electoral Act for endorsement or necessary direction before these are finalised and published," he said.
Mr Saneem said the Fijian Elections Office had also channelled its first tender for election materials, such as ballot boxes, and polling kits.
He said in the next election, his office would only procure ballot boxes of the highest quality that conformed to the accepted United Nations standard.
"In terms of polling station kits, this includes stationery and signs which will be used by polling officials during elections.
"The FEO will place special emphasis on better quality numbered seals similar to those used in Australia, following a review of the performance of the seals in the 2014 General Election."
Mr Saneem said a special expression of interest would also be advertised for the supply of ping pong balls with printed numbers ranging from 100 to 999 in two sets."These ping pong balls will be used for the national candidate list draw."
He said tenders would be advertised locally and overseas to attain the best quality against a competitive price.
Meanwhile, Mr Saneem in his capacity as the Registrar of Political Parties, suspended the One Fiji Party for 30 days effective yesterday.
The suspension follows the party contravening Section 26 (2) of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act, 2013 which requires all parties to provide to the registrar - within three months after the end of each financial year - the record of accounts of its income, expenditure, asset and liabilities audited by an auditor certified by the Fiji Institute of Accounts.
"The One Fiji party was required to submit its audited account by March 31, 2016, however, until today, we still have not received anything despite numerous reminders being sent to the party," said Mr Saneem.
He said the party had six days to remedy the breach or face deregistration as a political party.
The party has also been warned that during this period of suspension, it cannot operate, function, represent or hold itself out to be a political party.