FFP Minister Praveen Bala to be taken into custody for questioning!!!;
Also, the WHIPPY MURDER: Did Kean take blame to protect real killer?
HAVE YOU GOT LEAKS FOR US: email@example.com
Public Accounts Committee Chairman Ashneel Sudhakar’s attack on The Fiji Times and other media organisations is a pitiful indictment of Government’s reaction to any independent scrutiny that exposes their lack of transparency and accountability.
Reports of the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG), that continue to be thoroughly scrutinised by the Fiji Times, are independent audit reports, which one tabled in Parliament, are public documents.
The OAG is the most important independent institution when it comes to oversight on the use of the tax payers’ funds. Therefore, reports produced by it must be made accessible to the public in a timely manner. It is the people who ultimately judge the performance of the government in the use of their funds. The Fiji Times and other media organisations are doing justice to the people by highlighting the issues raised by the OAG,
So, Mr Sudhakar’s comments against the Fiji Times is not only baseless but unnecessary. It is a futile attempt to silence the media.
Professor Prasad was Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) from November 2014 to May 2016, when he was removed as Chair and resigned from PAC, after Government changed the Standing Orders in February 2016.
The change removed the mandatory requirement since Independence of an Opposition Member Chairing PAC, as prevalent in about 67% of Commonwealth jurisdictions.
An NFP Government will change the Standing Orders to ensure that the practice of an Opposition Member always chairing the Public Accounts Committee is restored for the sake of transparency and accountability.
The media has always scrutinised reports of the Auditor-General in the past immediately after it has been tabled in Parliament.
The current scrutiny therefore is nothing new. It was also done when reports for 7 years from 2007 to 2013 were tabled in Parliament after resumption of parliamentary democracy in October 2014.
The scrutiny seems intense because the Auditor-General has expressed serious concerns about lack of and maintenance of proper records, procurement procedures like medicine sitting at port of Suva for 243 days, to name a few. This leads to wastage and pilferage of public funds.
In fact, apart from the media, every person in this country including Members of Parliament are free to scrutinise and comment on Reports of the Auditor-General. This is what transparency and accountability is all about.
This in no way compromises the work of the Public Accounts Committee, which has special powers under the Parliamentary Standing Orders to summon personnel and even Ministers to appear before the Committee.
This is what Mr Sudhakar should be concentrating on instead of attacking the media because in this case, the Fiji Times and other media are doing a great service to the people of Fiji by highlighting how their tax dollar is being spent.
It is no use shooting the messenger, instead he should do what he is empowered to do and lead the thorough scrutiny of the Reports.
Professor Biman Prasad
So far, OPPOSITION: 1, ASHNEEL SUDHAKAR: 0
FINANCIAL SCAM: We have noticed Fiji Times latest money making tactic, while milking public sympathy:
"For more on Prof Biman's comments, please pick up a copy of The Fiji Times newspaper or subscribe to our E-Edition." Why should we subscribe to read NFP's press release?
PUBLIC Accounts Committee chairman Ashneel Sudhakar's attack on The Fiji Times and other media organisations is a pitiful indictment of Government's reaction to any independent scrutiny that exposes its lack of transparency and accountability, claims National Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad.
The former PAC chairman said reports of the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG), that continue to be thoroughly scrutinised by The Fiji Times, were independent audit reports, which once tabled in Parliament, were public documents.
Prof Prasad said the OAG was the most important independent institution when it came to oversight on the use of the taxpayers' funds. "For more on Prof Biman's comments, please pick up a copy of The Fiji Times newspaper or subscribe to our E-Edition."