Regulations queried

THE Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations led by permanent secretary Salaseini Daunabuna presented on the Auditor-General’s (OAG) Audit Report on Performance Audit 2014 of the management of the National Employment Centre (NEC) on Thursday.

During the course of their audit, the OAG had found that seven regulations had been developed as required by the National Employment Decree.

And discussions with the officer responsible revealed that since the establishment of NEC in 2010, these regulations have yet to be gazetted and as at the date of the audit no response has been provided by the Solicitor General’s (SG’s) Office despite various follow-ups made by NEC.

The OAG further reported that because of the above irregularity, the ministry had been using the decree as the main legislation governing the NEC and the OAG said there was a risk that the effective management of NEC was hindered by the lack of appropriate regulations that gave effect to the provisions of the decree.

“The NEC was formulated in 2009 and the regulations are still not completed since 2009?,” Public Accounts Committee chairman Ashneel Sudhakar said. “Yes, this was an issue that we picked up and we found out that the regulations were still in their final stages which we understand and acknowledge, but the NEC has been operating and we have an Act in place,” Ms Daunabuna said.

Opposition PAC member Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu then said: “Madame, you are charged with the responsibility of operations in your ministry. The Government, in its vision, has been able to pass the Act addressing the bread and butter issues of the unemployed; with these regulations don’t you think it should be your responsibility? “Subsidiary legislations are fairly important and it comes under your operational level; what do you say to that?”

“As I have advised, that is an issue which we have identified for the operation in terms of the work that we do and it has been highlighted and we’ve set timelines to have the NEC regulations in place.

“It is going to be one of the priorities we’ve set for ourselves going into the future,” she said.

The PAC was chaired by Mr Sudhakar with Government member Mohammed Dean and Opposition members Ratu Naiqama and Aseri Radrodro.

Also present were senior officers from the OAG.

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