7 Oct 2002

Fiji's Auditor General warns that abuse of public funds is rampant

11:44 am on 7 October 2002

Fiji's Auditor General, Eroni Vatuloka, has warned that the abuse of public funds through fraud, waste and mismanagement is rampant.

In his report for 2001, the Auditor General says the debt burden on the state has become exorbitant through uncontrolled spending.

He has also exposed ineffective cash management in almost all government ministries, including the Ministry of Finance.

The report says there is an absence of effective internal control systems, resulting in uneconomical, inefficient and ineffective operations.

The deficit for last year rose to 46 million US dollars , while loans rose to more than 110 million.

The report details extensive mismanagement and abuse of funds in government ministries including overpayment of salaries and in state owned companies.

The Fiji Labour Party says the Auditor General's report shows the SDL government cannot be trusted with taxpayers money.

It says the government has shown total contempt for good governance in managing the financial affairs of the country.