TWO years ago Fijileaks had alerted Fiji about this Government MP, whom Fiji Times has not named in its story (14 July 2017):
'Ex-minister silent on claims against MP'
According to the investigation report sighted by this newspaper, the investigation was in relation to alleged abuse of office by the MP who was employed by the ministry in the Western Division at the time.
According to the report, the alleged offences committed by the MP were:
* allegedly falsifying an official document to try and claim for school money for school visits that were never made;
* allegedly abusing authority by asking certain staff members to sign documents and claim for money for school visits that were never made; and,
* abusing authority to influence a volunteer to make claims to obtain money through the initial claim for school visits that were not made.
Yesterday, when the MP was questioned by this newspaper outside Parliament on the investigation report, the MP replied it was just allegations. Source: The Fiji Times, 14 July 2017
From Fijileaks Archive, 13 October 2015:
STILL "MILKING" his previous position as Education Minister to reply on FREE MILK. Why didn't the acting Education Minister Frank Bainimarama reply?
Opposition member Mikaele Leawere told Parliament last night that milk was a perishable item and would expire by the time it reached schools in rural areas.
"Some schools in the Central-Eastern Division have milk left over," he said.
Mr Leawere said the free milk initiative was also causing difficulties for poorer parents whose children had gotten used to the program and wanted to drink milk at home.
"That's why the milk, madam chair, is not providing the necessary assistance and there should be a study conducted as the effect this milk is giving to the students."
He said there were rural schools where mothers were already taking care of catering for students.
"If the money can go to these organisations and provide an alternative to milk in providing these kinds of refreshments, in rural areas maybe you could buy a cow and its value multiplies."
Former minister for education Dr Mahendra Reddy addressed the concerns of the Opposition saying the initiative had proven popular with parents and students and had improved attendance.
"It is there to ensure that those children who are unable to bring food to school have something so that they can fully concentrate on their studies," he said.
Mr Reddy said the ministry had to be careful of how it made provisions to schools in response to the suggestions of providing livestock as an alternative source of milk.
"If the mothers are providing for the students then the school just has to tell us that they don't need it and we will provide the milk and Weet-Bix somewhere else."
$3.57 million is allocated for the Free Milk Program in the 2016-2017 budget.