October 29, 2016 10:30 am

High Court refuses Fiji Times challenge to Government advertising

The Fijian High Court has refused to grant an application by the Fiji Times which sought to declare unlawful the decision by the Ministry of Communications to select an approved print media company for Government print advertising. The Fiji Times application related to the Expressions of Interest called by the Fijian Government last year that […]

The Fijian High Court has refused to grant an application by the Fiji Times which sought to declare unlawful the decision by the Ministry of Communications to select an approved print media company for Government print advertising.

The Fiji Times application related to the Expressions of Interest called by the Fijian Government last year that chose the Fiji Sun as the approved print media company for Government advertising for 2016.

The High Court ruled that the orders sought by the Fiji Times were moot, superfluous and redundant given that Government has called for a fresh tender through which Fiji Sun was selected as the approved media company for Government advertising for the 2016-2017 financial year.

Attorney-General and Minister for Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum welcomed the decision of the High Court given that Government followed an open tender process to obtain the most competitive terms and conditions for Government advertising.

Furthermore, as stated in the tender criteria and as indicated by Government, the Court has declared that the selection and award of the bid to the Fiji Sun for Government advertising are limited only to Government ministries and departments.

The AG added that this decision was in line with the conditions clearly stated within the Government tender. He went on to say that the decision does not mean that statutory bodies, state-owned enterprises and Government-related entities cannot take advantage of the favourable terms and conditions secured by Government through an open tender process.