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SODELPA Will Have To Account For $225,000

SODELPA Will Have To  Account For $225,000
November 05
11:37 2015

SODELPA will have to include the $225,000 grant spent by its parliamentary wing in its financial report to the Fijian Elections Office.
It is required to do this even though it did not receive the money.
This is based on statements by Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem and Secretary-General to Parliament Viniana Namosimalua.
Mr Saneem said on Government funding, the political parties decree was silent on how the money should be spent.
But the parties must account for their spending, he added.
Mrs Namosimalua said the letter informing the parties of the funding was addressed to their general secretaries.
In the case of SODELPA, its parliamentary wing in the Opposition Office got it and deposited it in a newly created bank account.
The issue caused an internal party row and was highlighted in the controversial Gaunavinaka report.
The confidential report, compiled after an audit, was highly critical of the governance of the Opposition Office and the leadership of Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.
An inquiry was conducted by a SODELPA board headed by Anare Jale.
Their findings are now being examined by a disciplinary committee headed by former diplomat Emitai Boladuadua and academic Tupeni Baba.
Their recommendations for disciplinary action, if any, are expected to be presented to the party’s management board soon.
Party’s general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu and finance chairman, Aseri Radrodro, could not be reached to comment yesterday.
It is understood that this issue is part of a review of the governance, operations and practices of the Opposition Office by a joint management board-parliamentary caucus committee.
The committee members are Member of Parliament Mr Radrodro and Salote Radrodro plus management board members Mr Jale and Adi Litia Qionibaravi.
There is a growing opinion in the party that the $225,000 should have gone first to SODELPA headquarters before it is disbursed to the Opposition Office to ensure transparency and accountability.
Now the Opposition Office will have to provide a financial report to SODEPLA which will incorporate it in the party’s report to the FEO.

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