19 Jun 2006

Fiji Minister says fisheries department in a mess

8:42 am on 19 June 2006

Fiji's minister for fisheries and forests, Ilaitia Tuisese, says the Public Service Commission must act quickly to clean up the mess in the Fisheries Department.

Mr Tuisese has told the Sunday Sun that that illegal activities in the department had been going on for quite some time and the PSC is still investigating some cases while others await investigation.

Mr Tuisese says it is unbelievable that some of these things have been going on for 20 years.

Mr Tuisese's comments come despite the prosecution of several senior fisheries officials for corruption, selling an excessive number of fishing licenses in return for cash and allowing illegal fishing.

Mr Tuisese says after the clean up, the fisheries ministry should have a completely new team with a positive attitude and commitment to turn the ministry around.

Meanwhile, the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has told parliament that the government will be putting forward a number of measures to eliminate corruption in the public service.