More alleged irregularities in travel documents
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.