NEWS

Security Worry

The Auditor-General may have endangered the security of Chief Justice Anthony Gates when he revealed sensitive details in his reports. The reports made two allegations against Chief Justice Gates about
18 Nov 2014 13:15
Security Worry

The Auditor-General may have endangered the security of Chief Justice Anthony Gates when he revealed sensitive details in his reports.

The reports made two allegations against Chief Justice Gates about his use of an official vehicle. The allegations have been strongly disputed.

The first allegation stated that the official vehicle of the Chief Justice was used by him for his morning walks. The second alleged that it was used to collect him from his official residence daily to his chambers and back.

It also suggested that it was improper for the Chief Justice to use the vehicle to be driven home for lunch.

Official Public Service Commission documents obtained by the Fiji Sun reveal otherwise.

The PSC letter dated July 10, 2007, signed by Tom Lee the then Permanent Secretary also revealed that Chief Justice Gates had voluntarily declined to receive any allowance while acting as Chief Justice till 2008.

Chief Justice Gates only opted to receive allowance when he was made substantive Chief Justice at the end of 2008.

The letter also stated that:

“…you are entitled to the same privileges for the use of motor vehicle as the Chief Justice, that is you will receive motor vehicle allowance and also the use of the pool car for official purposes.

“It is also noted that you have voluntarily declined to receive acting allowance whilst acting as Chief Justice.”

The Fiji Sun has discovered that for his morning walks, Chief Justice Gates drives his own vehicle. A Departmental vehicle, not the official vehicle, is used to pick his bodyguard.

The need for personal security is required for a high ranking official such as the Chief Justice irrespective of official hours or whether official duties are involved.

There have been concerns raised that it was not appropriate for the Auditor-General to discuss security needs and details in a document which has been published widely.

The release of Chief Justice’s security details and the time he takes his morning walk is being seen as a breach of security.

It has also been verified by the Fiji Sun that all former Chief Justices have always been picked from their homes and brought to their chambers in official vehicles.

Chief Justice Gates was apparently not asked for his personal explanation when the Auditor-General was compiling his report.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 


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