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Editorial: In Age Of New Transparency, Let’s Weed Out Dishonesty

Editorial: In Age Of New Transparency, Let’s Weed Out Dishonesty
August 04
11:15 2018

Should Land Transport Authority (LTA) officials be reprimanded for believing the best in people, for believing that those who applied for taxi permits and that those who qualified told the truth about their income?

No.

A statutory declaration is a legal document.

Every applicant for a taxi permit signed one, declaring that their household income was below $20,000.

Apart from this, they filled a form stating the income of each member of the family who is employed.

It is great that this time around the process of issuance of taxi permits was done in a transparent manner and in front of more than a thousand people.

Those who do not qualify have been easily caught out.

If the same thing happened in an office, after the old process of issuing taxi permits, would people have known that some who do not qualify have received the provisional permits?

No.

But the fundamental problem here has been the general dishonesty of some people.

The mentality that they can somehow con the system, defraud the process and gain from it is wrong.

The mentality that it is all right to falsely declare their income is wrong.

This was apparent when a number of people lied about the extent of damage to their homes after TC Josie and TC Keni.

Should Government be held responsible for people lying about their income, about their residential addresses? No.

Those Fijians who lied need to be reprimanded.

They need to be held responsible and they need to be taken to task.

Political parties have decried the entire process of taxi permit allocations.

Why have they not raised issues about this previously? About how a person who was already employed and who had other sources of income also had three or four taxi permits from 20 years ago – did anyone complain?

No, because they were not even aware.

Now, a new level of transparency has been introduced. Instead of running it down for the sake of running it down, we need to be able to ask ourselves – what can we do to make this process better?

What can we do to stop this blatant crime?

It is a crime when anyone provides a false statutory declaration.

Those who did the crime, should do the time now.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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