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“Permanent Secretary Finance, Ministerial salaries, and the PSC”. Letter to Editor 28 January 2014

28/01/2014

Letter to Editor (The Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Island Business, Republika)
(sent 28 January 2014) (cc Mr Ashwin Raj, Chairman MIDA).
(appeared Fiji Sun, 29 January 2014).

PS Finance, Ministerial salaries and the PSC

Dear Sir/Madam

Under the 2013 Bainimarama Constitution which the government is supposedly following, as with the 1997 Constitution, civil servants are expected to show the highest standards in accountability and transparency to taxpayers, for the use of tax payers’ funds. 

The Permanent Secretary of Finance is the chief financial officer, who is properly appointed by the Public Service Commission, and who bears ultimate responsibility for the proper disbursement of taxpayers funds annually.

This seriousness and uniqueness of these responsibilities has been emphasized by the recent doubling of the salary of the PS Finance,  and this is one salary increase which may be justified by the magnitude of tax payers’ funds and the large Public Debt managed by this one position.

Can Mr Filimoni Waqabaca therefore inform the taxpayers (a simple YES or NO through these columns will do) whether some government ministers’ salaries have been paid at any time since 2007, through a private accounting company?

If the answer is “YES” can the PS Finance inform the taxpayers what are the total emoluments of the Prime Minister and Attorney General?

Can the Chairman of the Public Service Commission (or any of the individual Board members who may believe in public accountability) inform the public whether these are proper questions that taxpayers can legitimately pose to the PS Finance, and which must be answered, given the Public Service Commission’s own guidelines to civil servants for accountability and transparency?

 

Professor Wadan Narsey

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