Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SCC Staff Sent Home Without Just Cause

Geraldine Panapasa

www.fijitimes.com - Monday, January 11, 2010

ABOUT 20 Suva City Council staff workers have been told to stay home pending investigations into their alleged anti-government activities.

While SCC special administrator Marica Hallacy neither confirmed nor denied the staff, including some senior management staff, were told to go home, it has been made public that workers from the engineering, business licence section, parking meter section, town and planning and enforcement section were given marching orders on Friday afternoon.

Ministry of Local Government acting permanent secretary Maraia Ubitau was not aware of the incident.

"I have not heard about the incident," she said.

The Fiji Times received information from that a team of men in civilian clothes entered the SCC office on Friday to serve Ms Hallacy with a letter revealing names of staff with alleged anti-government leanings.

"They came at about 3pm and gave a letter to special administrator. It had a list of names," the source said.

"It's alleged the names were people who were writing anti-government stories and making anti-government comments.

"The men took our computers and documents, saying it was for their investigation. We were told to stay home until the investigations were complete."

The source said they were taken aback by the directive and confused at what was happening.

It has also been revealed that the suspended workers were alleged to have been contributing to anti-government blog sites.

"We don't have access to blog sites at work. This was a directive in the past to stop accessing blog sites, so these were banned," said the source.

"The men took our computers saying it was for their investigations. They did not have evidence with them when they came."

Ms Hallacy could not make a statement on the issue yesterday. She said a statement on the matter would be made today.

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