10 Jun 2003

Fiji parliamentary committee alleges civil servants involved in attempts to defraud government

9:17 am on 10 June 2003

There's been a call in Fiji for police to investigate alleged collusion between officials in the Public Works Department and private contractors to defraud the government.

The Fiji Times reports the call has been made by parliament's public accounts committee.

Its chairman, Poseci Bune, says in his report that senior public servants blatantly disregarded official instructions and procedures.

The report found that 312 local purchase orders were issued in one day for purchases made up to eighteen months previously as well as cases of double payments.

It accuses Public Works Department officials of being given the use of private vehicles by contracters who secured governmenr contracts.

Mr Bune says his committee has recommended that the ministry of finance take over the responsibility for the administration of the finances of all other segments of the public service and introduce a code of conduct for public officers.