15 Mar 2005

Fiji auditor widens probes into proposed Kuwait trip

8:09 am on 15 March 2005

The Fiji auditor general's office has intensified investigations into abuse of office and corruption in the public service.

The Fiji Sun reports the investigations include the necessity for the labour minister Kenneth Zinck's proposed trip to Kuwait and the pension being paid to the convicted former vice president Seniloli who is completing his four-year prison term from home.

They also include the award of a government contract to an unregistered company with a bogus office address and abuse of travel privileges by cabinet ministers and government chief executive officers.

The auditor general, Eroni Vatuleka, has confirmed the investigations.

Mr Vatuleka says he will look into concerns that Mr Zinck's trip would be futile because it would do nothing to improve the working conditions provided by overseas-based recruiting companies.

Mr Vatuleka has also confirmed that an inquiry has started into why Seniloli is still being paid a state pension despite being a convicted prisoner.