More al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in travel doc­u­ments

Fiji Sun - - Parliament News - ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA

New in­for­ma­tion on more al­le­ga­tions of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the Par­lia­ment Sec­re­tariat have sur­faced. The lat­est is about a se­nior man­ager who ac­com­pa­nied two staff mem­bers for a work at­tach­ment in Aus­tralia. While the at­tach­ment was for Hansard staff mem­bers, the se­nior man­ager was from a dif­fer­ent sec­tion, also went. The trio re­turned last week­end af­ter a work at­tach­ment at the Vic­to­ria and Can­berra Par­lia­ment from Septem­ber 12 to 24. A 15-seater bus was sent to Nadi In­ter­na­tional Air­port, in­stead of a smaller car. This was on the re­quest of the se­nior staff, who sources re­veal, asked for the bus so that all their shop­ping from Aus­tralia could fit in. Doc­u­ments ob­tained by the Fiji Sun re­veal that for a two hour­sand-40-min­utes tran­sit, the three staff mem­bers were paid US$27.50 (about F$56.27) each as tran­sit al­lowance.

Sources also pointed out that the se­nior man­ager who went on this trip was also one of those who signs off and ap­proved trips. The sources have questioned why this man­ager had to go on this trip when an­other staff mem­ber from the Hansard depart­ment was bet­ter suited for it? Doc­u­ments re­veal that the se­nior staff (who had been in Bris­bane in July for an­other sem­i­nar paid for by the tax­pay­ers) sent in a pro­posal ask­ing for funds.

For this trip, for two days, the team were in Can­berra and 11 nights in Mel­bourne. Ac­com­mo­da­tion, air fares and 50 per cent of per diem was to be paid for by donor agen­cies- United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Programme un­der the Pa­cific Part­ner­ship Par­lia­ment Programme while the other 50 per cent was paid for by tax­pay­ers. The se­nior staff mem­ber opted to stay at a rel­a­tive’s home in Mel­bourne and in re­turn for this she claimed 100 per cent per diem out of Par­lia­ment’s bud­get. Doc­u­ments re­leased to the Fiji Sun re­veal:

Can­berra at­tach­ment $2736 out of which $1710 was for late check out from the ho­tel

Mel­bourne at­tach­ment’s per diem paid to the three was $12,540.72 while late check­out from ho­tel was $1140. Ques­tions sent to the Sec­re­tary­Gen­eral to Par­lia­ment Vini­ana Namosi­malua re­main unan­swered.

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