22 Aug 2005

Fiji Chamber of Commerce calls for public service changes

3:53 pm on 22 August 2005

The Fiji Chamber of Commerce is calling for a code of conduct and a whistleblower policy to be introduced by the public service.

The chamber's president, Taito Waradi, was speaking after the auditor-general released a report stating that there had been a gross abuse of public funds, amounting to tens of millions of dollars.

This is not the first time the auditor general has highlighted the abuse of public funds in the public service.

And, Mr Waradi says something must be done to ensure this doesn't continue.

"The magnitude of the problem, if it's not controlled now, if we don't act now, then we should expect a repeat of other abuse, you know, within the public system. So, there's some urgency to address this, and if you relate this to the current growth projection of the economy. This year will be the lowest in the last five years."

Mr Waradi says there is only a 1.4 percent growth rate projected for the next year and this low level is partly due to the misuse of government funds having an impact on the economy.