14 Sep 2005

Fiji PM warns cabinet members not to fiddle travel entitlements

9:16 am on 14 September 2005

Fiji's prime minister has ordered that no cabinet ministers or chief executive officers must be allowed to convert their business class travel entitlements into economy tickets.

Laisenia Qarase says in future they must only travel business class.

The order comes after the High Court acquitted the minister for multi-ethnic affairs, George Shiu Raj, on charges of defrauding the state and obtaining money by false pretences.

Mr Shiu Raj was charged after the auditor general found that he had converted two business class tickets to India to economy and used the cash difference for private purposes.

Mr Qarase says he held a cabinet meeting on Monday to tell ministers that rules should always be followed on travel entitlement.

He says the public service commission and the secretary general to parliament will do the same for public servants and MPs.