30 Apr 2007

Threat of travel bans puts off efforts to employ staff for Fiji's Public Accounts Committee

2:19 pm on 30 April 2007

The threat of travel bans is reported to be seriously hindering the Fiji interim administration's efforts to appoint professionals to the interim Public Accounts Committee.

The permanent secretary of the Prime Minister's Office, Parmesh Chand, has told the Fiji Times the committee is a vital component of the administration's efforts to maintain accountability and weed out corrupt practices.

Mr Chand says while the international community wants Fiji to return to normalcy, they appear to be working against the administration's intention to promote a culture of good governance and accountability.

He says travel bans have been a key factor in the decision of professionals not to accept offers of positions in the various arms of the government.

Civil society leader, Father Kevin Barr, says the work of the Public Accounts Committee is vital given that previous reports have pointed to mismanagement by the former government.

He says there is a basic misunderstanding in Australia and New Zealand over what is happening in the Pacific and even if everyone voted tomorrow, it would not solve Fiji's problems.