Secretary-General to Parliament Viniana Namosimalua cannot just simply say she is not obliged to answer questions raised by this newspaper about serious allegations against some senior staff. These are serious claims which allegedly involve the use of Fijian taxpayers’ funds. Her decision not to respond to repeated emailed questions also does not do her and the secretariat any favours. Morale is low among parliamentary staff right now because of the allegations swirling around the offices. There are disenchanted staff who are speaking to media and disclosing details because they want the row resolved as soon as possible. The longer this dispute continues, it will cause more damage to the institution. The other outstanding issue, is of course, the alleged sexual encounter between a secretariat staff and two SODELPA MPs.
A swift resolution of this case would be good for the secretariat.
Parliament is the supreme institution of the land. It is the legislative body and it makes and ends laws. It checks and approves Government’s Budget and development programmes. The secretariat provides the support service and administration that allow Parliament to function smoothly.
But when it is under siege by a series of allegations, it is not a good look and its integrity is on the line.
It is therefore important they are quickly resolved to put the organisation back on track. Mrs Namosimalua needs to be reminded that the Fiji Sun is carrying out one of its core roles by exposing the allegations in the hope that they will be resolved. Where taxpayers’ fund is involved, this newspaper has a legitimate right and responsibility to ensure that it is properly accounted for.
Transparency of processes is vital to achieve a positive outcome. None of the issues that have been highlighted and part of the investigations would have been fixed much earlier if the system was transparent.The Secretariat deals with funds from donor agencies and from the Fijian taxpayers. It is important that it manages these funds in a transparent manner to avoid the problems it is now dealing with.
As Fijians, we all love our rugby and Pacific Energy also has a soft spot for rugby league because of the values it shares such as honesty, teamwork, performance and integrity
Pacific Energy chief executive officer
Inside Parliament House. Photo: Parliament of the Republic of the Fiji Islands