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Prioritise Public Money – Sujiro Seam

There is no such thing as Government money, said Ambassador and Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation for the Pacific, Sujiro Seam. “It’s public money, your money, whether you
26 Feb 2021 11:43
Prioritise Public Money –  Sujiro Seam
From left, Commissioner Central Josefa Navuku, PIANGO executive director Emeline Siale Ilolahia, and Ambassador and Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation for the Pacific, Sujiro Seam at the commencement of discussions on public finance management in Suva on February 27, 2021. Photo: Frederica Elbourne

There is no such thing as Government money, said Ambassador and Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation for the Pacific, Sujiro Seam.

“It’s public money, your money, whether you work or not, because you still pay taxes through your purchases,” he said yesterday at the commencent of a two-day deliberation on public finance management in Suva.

“You have the right to decide what type of priorities the public money will be spent. This is why the European Union is attached to public finance management.”

“And so must we, because it’s about accountability and governance.”

Commissioner Central, Josefa Navuku, called for the adoption of new norms as the way forward to forging meaningful partnerships.

“By having effective partnerships, we will be able to deal with whatever disaster is related when it’s at work, or rolling out new initiatives such as public finance management,” Mr Navuku said.

“Effective partnerships and good governance in the public financial management system was really crucial, to avoid a stop-start process,” he said.

“We are in the process of putting together our national budget for the financial year as the 2021 one comes to an end on July 31.”

Mr Navuku said: “The method of preparation is traditional in that we have a bottom up approach.

“We are practicing the concept of zero budget.”

“Most of us, as government officials will have only our salaries and wages confirmed as a proposal for the national budget, including operating expenses. Budget preparations must also make room for disruptions, be it natural or national in nature.”

Good governance from the ground up and has been noticeably absent at many levels of administration, he said.

Good governance at community level was also an absent practise, Mr Navuku said.

The absence of good governance will continue to give rise to a stop-start process even in the public finance arena, he said.

 

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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