The Public Service Commission had called for an audit of all leave due to civil servants. From the returns submitted by the Fiji Military Forces (which includes the Navy), Frank Bainimarama was listed among those who had used up all their leave entitlements (local and long service) when due. No accumulated leave was shown against his NAME...Thus any claim from Bainimarama for any leave earned or accumulated between 1978 and 1992 whilst employed by the Fiji Military Forces would appear to be false and fraudulent...and Chaudhry is complicit accomplice"
In the course of my investigation in 2008 I had unearthed that the Public Service Commission had carried out an extensive audit exercise of the leave positions of all permanent public servants in all Government Ministries and Departments (including the Disciplinary Forces, Army, Navy and Police) between 1990 and 1991 following allegations of widespread abuse of the leave compensation provisions of the 1972 Leave Conditions (the standard leave conditions for the Public Service replacing generous expatriate leave conditions which continued to prevail after independence) by officers who deliberately refused to take their leave when due and instead accumulated them for the purpose of claiming compensation on them at a later date or when their next leave was due.
A case could easily be made by the Head of Department that an officer cannot be released to go on leave and a recommendation is made to PSC for that officer to be compensated for the entire leave due or an officer is recalled from leave after a few days/ weeks and recommendation is made to compensate the officer for the unspent balance of his leave.
As part of this exercise, all Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments were issued with a circular to carry out audits of all leave positions of all their permanent employees at all levels and then to submit a return to the PSC indicating the list of officers who have accumulated leave from previous tours of duty (a tour is 3 years when officer must take all leave earned plus any unused and carried over from previous two years) and the reasons why such leave were not taken or allowed to accumulate without prior approval of the PSC.
When all the Ministries and Departments submitted their returns to the PSC, it was noted that many officers had leave accumulated over a long period (2 to 3 tours) but the majority had used up all the leave (long service plus annual leave) due to them. The PSC vigorously vetted these returns. From the returns submitted by the Fiji Military Forces (which includes the Navy), Bainimarama was listed among those who had used up all their leave entitlements ( local and long service) when due. No accumulated leave was shown against his name. (PS: I will be revealing the documents in due course).
Another circular to all Permanent Secretaries/Heads of Departments was issued, directing them to ensure that all officers under their control and whose names appeared on the returns submitted to the PSC to still have accumulated leave to their credit must be released from their duties as soon as possible and to proceed on leave without any further delay. They were also directed that if after 6 months from the date of the issue of that circular any officer who still had not taken all their accumulated leave would be deemed to have forfeited that leave.
Thus after the expiry of that 6 months period when all the returns were received from Ministries and Departments, no single officer or public servant had any record of accumulated leave still showing to his or her credit.
Accordingly, from the file records held at PSC at that time, my investigation confirmed that Bainimarama had used up or utilized all leave he had earned and due to him (long service, annual and accumulated) between the period 1975 when he was recruited into the Navy and 1992 (17 years in all) after the leave audits were carried out by RFMF and PSC.
Thus any claim from Bainimarama for any leave earned or accumulated between 1978 and 1992 whilst employed by the Fiji Military Forces would appear to be false and fraudulent.
Trade off - Tax Evasion and Leave Back Pay?
We may recall that Bainimarama was paid the so-called fraudulent back pay by Chaudhry at the time I was slowly but steadily releasing portions of Chaduhry's tax record details, claiming he was hiding money in Australia. He, on the other hand, was strenuously denying he had ever received a cent from Haryana in India.
According to Cabinet meeting notes, both Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum had refused to order Chaudhry to leave the Cabinet meeting (Cabinet convention) which was discussing whether Chaudhry should step down until an investigation into his tax evasion claims was completed.
All three - Bainimarama, Khaiyum and Chauhdry agreed he should be present in that Cabinet meeting which was deciding his Cabinet position; in the end the 'Monkey Minister' Khaiyum ruled that Chaudhry be allowed to stay in the meeting, turning the Cabinet meeting into "Animal Farm". His puppet Bainimarama ruled in Chaudhry and Khaiyum's favour.
But little did Chaudhry expect that the "Monkey Minister" would outmaneuver him twelve months later when he got kicked out, perhaps the "Monkey Minister" must have offered something more enticing and substantial than the fraudulent leave pay to Bainimarama.
I went on to reveal Chaudhry's two million dollars that he was hiding in his Australian bank account, resulting in the abduction, detention and deportation of Fiji Sun's then publisher and editor-in-chief Russell Hunter out of Fiji.