11 Sep 2020

Funding to Fiji opposition party under scrutiny

1:58 pm on 11 September 2020

Fiji's opposition National Federation Party has been found in breach of the Political Parties Act over its source of funding.

This comes after the Elections Office said it found discrepancies in the NFP's accounts of 2018 audited by Parkers Chartered Accountants Fiji Limited.

Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem, said Parkers was not an approved auditor under the Fiji Institute of Accountants Act and was not entitled to issue audit opinions.

Mohammed Saneem.

Mohammed Saneem. Photo: Fiji govt

Saneem said the total source of funding in the NFP's audited financial statement exceeded almost $US49,000.

He said the party also "failed and neglected" to issue receipts for about $US62,000 to its donors.

"It is also highly questionable how the party, without having issued receipts for such a large sum, was able to compile the list of donations two years later for some 54 entries in the source of party funding listing provided to the FEO.

"The NFP managed to attribute those sums to individuals when the party did not issue any receipts at the time these monies were paid."

Mohammed Saneem said the NFP had been given 30 days to resubmit its audited accounts to the elections office.

The NFP was also required to resubmit the source of party funding list for 2018.

NFP leader, Professor Biman Prasad, said it would address the anomalies highlighted by the elections office.

No caption

Photo: RNZI/Alex Perrottet