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PAC awaits response to $100m question

The Ministry of Finance is still to respond to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the use of up to $100million without any acquittals from the Head 50 account of Government. 18/09 Update: The Fiji Times today posted a correction.  Biman Prasad is quoted to have said: The Public Accounts Committee did not receive a […]

Calvin Prasad

September 17, 2015 10:43 am

The Ministry of Finance is still to respond to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the use of up to $100million without any acquittals from the Head 50 account of Government.

18/09 Update: The Fiji Times today posted a correction.  Biman Prasad is quoted to have said:

The Public Accounts Committee did not receive a response from the Finance Ministry about the payment of ministers’ salaries, then Rewa Dairy (Fiji Dairy Ltd) restructure and the Head 50 analysis.

Earlier Update

Finance Ministry officials were earlier given a deadline of August 31.

PAC Chairman, Professor Biman Prasad speaking to Fiji Times:

No we haven’t received any response from Ministry of Finance yet and we’ll send another reminder.

We haven’t received any response yet and we’re hoping to meet after Parliament to discuss the issue again depending on the availability of members after Parliament.

Fiji Times reports questions were sent to Finance Ministry officials, but remained unanswered last night.

PAC asks for Head 50 clarification

PAC members on August 5th focused on the allocation of funds from Head 50 in the Government Budget.

Deputy Auditor-General Atunaisa Nadakuitavuki told PAC the Head 50 was mainly for contingency things that don’t appear in the budget and things that come up during the year.

The Auditor-General’s report had highlighted over the years how these funds were used without any acquittals being provided and that the Ministry of Finance continuously released funds despite the non-provision of acquittals to ministries.

PAC chairman Prasad asked the Finance Ministry representatives whether the issues recurred because they wanted to make some recommendations regarding Head 50.

The Ministry’s director internal audit Mereani Naisara said:

We’re not in a position to provide you with that information, however the ministry has issued a circular on the 30th of July in regards to the guidelines for Head 50.

Government MP Semi Koroilavesau told the Finance Ministry representatives they needed to be given an indication on how far the ministry allocated funds from Head 50 because it seemed that these funds had been “abused”.

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