Monday, July 21, 2008

Interim PM's payout claim scrutinised

Interim PM's payout claim scrutinised
Monday, July 21, 2008

Update: 4:32PM THE Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF) has called on the interim Government to immediately reverse the decision to pay out military Commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama outstanding leave pay, which would have become null and void.

The Forum is of the view that the decision is flawed where $184,740 was paid out to the Military Commander in February for leave owed from 1978.

Forums executive director Reverend Akuila Yabaki said the normal practice as understood, is that all outstanding leave has to be utilised before the end of a contract period.

"As far as CCF is aware, Bainimaramas previous contract as army commander ended in January 2004. Therefore, all leave prior to January 2004 that had not been utilised by Bainimarama, would have become null and void," Rev Yabaki said.

"Bainimaramas new contract as army commander, as we are aware, began in February 2004. As such, he can only claim for leave not utilised after the February 2004 date."

Rev Yabaki said even for the post-February 2004 period, Commodore Bainimarama should not claim for leave pay outstanding beyond one year, unless he can provide good reason why he did not utilise his leave.

"If Bainimarama did not want to utilise his leave since 1978, then he should accept that was his choice. To claim for that leave now is bad governance and shows poor and non-transparent leadership," he said.

Rev Yabaki has questioned how this pay out was possible, stating that the Public Service Commission should have regulations preventing such excessive claims.

"This is bad governance and an abuse of process, as well as tax-payers money. Obviously, the financial systems put in place to safeguard government finances are not effective.

"This surely is a signal that corrupt and negligent people are working within the government," he said.

No comments: