18 Dec 2008

International anti-corruption organisation admits being hamstrung in Fiji

2:47 pm on 18 December 2008

An international anti-corruption agency says it's powerless to do more to call Fiji's interim government to account over allegations of overspending.

A Fiji economics professor is asking why agencies such as Transparency International have not done more to ensure the country's audit reports are made public.

Professor Wadan Narsey of the University of the South Pacific says the Auditor General has shown that the interim government is allowing the military to overspend by millions of dollars each year.

Transparency International's Fiji chairperson, Suiliani Siwatibau, says her organisation is doing all it can to make the overspending public.

"But what can you do when they refuse you can only do so much and it's not like it's an elected body so that you have a little bit more leeway and that they have responsibility to those who elected them. This body has elected itself, the government is run by the military council which dictates to us. If we ask the members and they won't let us what else can we do?"

Suiliani Siwatibau of Transparency International