29 Sep 2004

Fiji opposition urges police probe into misuse of government money

10:23 am on 29 September 2004

Fiji's opposition leader has called for urgent police investigations into the abuse of tens of millions of dollars in public funds by government ministries and officials.

Mick Beddoes has told Radio Legend that the level of abuse highlighted in the latest report of the auditor general is such that police must act to ensure that such actions are curbed in future.

Mr Beddoes says all the abused, missing and unaccounted funds is money that could be spent on improving hospital services and providing for the destitute.

He says the widespread corruption and abuse shows management reforms within the government are not working and valuable resources are being misused.

He says the government must act now and stamp out corruption.

The auditor general's report noted cases of abuse and corrupt practices in most government ministries and at all levels ranging from the minister down to middle level officials.

Meanwhile, the National Federation Party has called on the prime minister to take uncompromising disciplinary measures against its ministers and officials.

The NFP says the auditor general should be empowered by law to institute criminal proceedings against the offenders as well as to recover all public money.