Fair Reporting of Credit Bill Passed
The Government easily pushed through the Fair Reporting of Credit Bill under Standing Order 51 in Parliament yesterday after hours of fiery debate. The bill was passed with 30 votes to 13 while seven did not vote. Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the law guaranteed right to privacy for ordinary Fijians.
He also said it also ensured that all credit reporting agencies would have to seek licensing from the Reserve Bank of Fiji and have their data quarantined. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was a need for ordinary Fijians to be given a clean slate. “Sometimes when a customer wants to lay by a certain item from a hardware company; they are prohibited from purchasing the item because they have been listed as a default debtor under the Data Bureau,” he said. Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula said: “It seems the bill is attacking a single company which was the Data Bureau; they need to be consulted and so is the public; there is a need for this to happen.” Mr Nawaikula revealed a letter received from Data Bureau stating they were not consulted and the company was not aware of the bill. But Speaker to Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni ordered Mr Nawaikula to refrain from reading the content of letter further as it needed to be authenticated before it was brought before Parliament. The A-G also refuted Mr Nawaikula’s claims and that he had received the letter as claimed by the Data Bureau. Minister for Industry and Trade, Faiyaz Koya said there was a need for such bill for credit reporting to be done accurately so that ordinary Fijians could access assistance from financial institutions. Meanwhile the A-G concluded his argument saying: “Give ordinary Fijians a break and let them have access to credit; why should we give credibility to something that doesn’t have credibility,” he said.
Sometimes when a customer wants to lay by a certain item from a hardware company; they are prohibited from purchasing the item because they have been listed as a default debtor under the Data Bureau.
Attorney-General and Minister for Finance