17 Oct 2002

Fiji Finance minister acknowledges auditor general's criticism

11:57 am on 17 October 2002

Fiji's finance minister, Ratu Jone Kubuabola, says he fully supports concerns raised by the auditor general about the misuse of public funds.

In a statement, Ratu Jone, who is also acting prime minister, says the government does not treat these allegations likely.

He says those cited in the auditor general's report as having misused public funds will have to respond to the allegations against them before the parliamentary public accounts committee.

Ratu Jone says the government is fully committed to following up the auditor general's comments and working with his office to improve the government's financial management.

He says because of the continuing problem of financial irregularities, a special investigation unit has been set up with the aim of intervening quickly where cases of financial mismanagement are unearthed.

In addition, the government has internal mechanisims to address financial abuse which includes surcharging those found in breach.

Ratu Jone says the government is committed to major financial management reforms which will allow for a greater improvement in the availability and accuracy of financial information.

This, says the finance minister, will improve accountability and minimise abuse of funds.