22 Nov 2002

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs criticised for wasting taxpayers' money

12:07 pm on 22 November 2002

The Fijian Political Party has criticised the Great Council of Chiefs for wasting taxpayers' money and has called for it to be more transparent .

The SVT's spokesperson, Ema Druavesi, says the Council ignored the needs of indigenous Fijians when it paid out more than 10-thousand dollars to three achitectural firms as gestures of goodwill and appreciation.

The Council gave 4,600 US dollars each to the firms which made unsuccessful bids for its new 10-million-dollar secretariat building.

Ms Druavesi says the money should go to village development, describing the payments to the firms as a waste of public funds.

"Fijians look up to this august body for transparency and accountability, and by giving away 10-thousand or whatever to whoever that has put in some interest to the GCC and is unsuccessful in their bid is wasted when it could be utilised in the development of some of the villages and I think they ave created a dangerous precedent."

Ema Druavesi, the spokesperson for the SVT Party in Fiji.