9 Oct 2002

Fiji minister under fire over administration of funds

4:19 pm on 9 October 2002

Fiji's controversial minister for women and social welfare, Adi Asenaca Caucau, and her assistant minister, have been sharply criticised for blatantly disregarding procedures in the administration of department funds.

In his annual report, the auditor-general, Eroni Vatuleka, said the two ministers overstepped boundaries when they demanded payment be made to particular applicants of the poverty alleviation fund.

He says procedures were laid down to ensure effective delivery of the fund to target groups.

Mr Vatuleka says despite the guidelines, Adi Asenaca and Losena Salabula, gave instructions for payments under the scheme without following procedures.

He says immediate action should be taken to resolve the situation created by the ministers and ensure that junior officers are not pressured with instructions to carry out duties that are not within the prescribed guidelines.

The auditor general says appropriate action should be taken against the ministers.