5 Oct 2005

Fiji police boss wants to retain control of budget

2:56 pm on 5 October 2005

The Fiji Police Commissioner says recent changes to who controls the departments budget impinge on his constitutional independence.

The amendments placed the police and military budgets under the control of the ministry of home affairs.

Commissioner Andrew Hughes and the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, are to meet with the government later this week to ask for the amendments to be overturned.

Mr Hughes says the changes don't fit with his role under the constitution.

"The rationale for an independent commissioner is sound, I mean it's not unique to Fiji. The same as we have independent courts, independent directors of prosecutions and so on, but this is a real erosion of that. If you control the finances of an organisation, you effectively control the organisation and its operations."

Andrew Hughes says if this week's meeting is unsuccessful, the military and police are ready to take legal action.