8 Dec 2006

Fiji finance ministry CEO reported to have gone into hiding

5:20 pm on 8 December 2006

The chief executive of Fiji's finance ministry, Paula Uluinaceva, is reported to have gone into hiding after placing a spending limit of 12-thousand US dollars on the military and government ministries.

The Fijilive news website reports that Mr Uluinaceva is believed to have fled the country, but the military insists he is in Fiji and will be arrested today.

It says the finance minister, Ratu Jone Kubuabola, has also gone into hiding.

But, the commander of Land Forces, Col Pita Driti, says they will be on his floor before the end of the day to answer to the military.

In a memo sent out last Friday, Mr Uluinaceva placed a spending limit of 12-thousand US dollars a day on the military, all 23 state chief executives, and 19 heads of departments.

He also instructed commercial banks not to honour any government cheques above this amount unless it was approved by the finance ministry's chief accountant.

Mr Uluinaceva also gave a memo to the military saying it had blown its 2006 budget by almost 1-point-9 million US dollars.