People’s Alliance Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka says the unilateral decision of the Minister of Economy to exempt Energy Fiji Limited from audit of the Auditor General’s Office is a classic show of narcissism and arrogance at the highest level of public life.
Rabuka says the decision also feeds the suspicion of business conducted in secrecy.
He says providing for exemptions is both a matter of law and practice, and they accept that, but while one may have ministerial powers to issue exemption, issuing one exempting EFL to be examined by the Auditor General has been done with absolute impunity here.
Rabuka says no reason has been given for the hasty exemption and there can never be any public policy motivation justifiable enough to grant EFL this exemption.
The People’s Alliance Party Leader says Governments are accountable to the people and it defies logic why the exemption is needed now.
Rabuka says the Auditor General ensures that Government, Government agencies and state enterprises account for the dollar they hold from public purse.
The People’s Alliance Leader also says he is aware of the move by the Government to relocate the Auditor General’s Office to Vatuwaqa Industrial Subdivision.
Rabuka says this shocking move to remove the Auditor General out of the CBD, where it is accessible to the public to a heavily industrialized zone is not only vindictive, but also absurd.
Rabuka says the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum must come clean and inform the public why the exemption is seen as urgent because the public has a right to be informed of important decisions made in public office concerning companies that are public in nature.
Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has exercised his powers conferred on him under the Audit Act 1969, and exempted off-budget State entity, Energy Fiji Limited from audit by the Auditor General.
The regulation has been gazetted.
Fijivillage sent questions to Sayed-Khaiyum last Tuesday to clarify why EFL has been exempted from being audited by the Auditor General’s Office.
We also asked him on his thoughts on the accounts not being audited by the Auditor General although 51% of EFL shares are owned by the Government.
Follow up questions were sent again last Wednesday and again last night however he is yet to clarify the reasons why EFL is exempted from being audited by the Auditor General.
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