17 Jan 2006

Fiji fisheries' CEO sacked, former CEO also guilty

8:15 am on 17 January 2006

The chief executive of Fiji's ministry of fisheries and forests, Mitieli Baleivanualala, has been sacked after being found guilty on all charges brought against him.

The Public Service Commission chairman, Stuart Hugget, says Mr Baleivanualala failed to attend a fisheries meeting in Pohnpei, going instead to Japan for its duration and failing to fully refund allowances given to him.

Other offences included making unauthorised appointments, failing to recover salaries incurred from such appointments and continual defiance of the Public Service Commission.

The Fiji Times reports that the PSC has also found the chief executive of the ministry of transport and civil aviation, Vuetasau Buatoka, guilty on 10 charges of abuse of office when he headed the ministry of fisheries and forests in 2003.

Mr Buatoka had a company to continue fishing after its licence had expired.

He will present his mitigation on Thursday before the PSC makes a decision on his future.

Mr Buatoka has also been charged by police for the same offences and will appear in court later this month.