NEWS

The Saga Continues

More allegations have surfaced from some staff members of the Parliamentary Secretariat. Fiji Sun sources have confirmed that a staff member at the Secretariat was verbally abused by a senior
26 Sep 2016 10:30
The Saga Continues
Saga

More allegations have surfaced from some staff members of the Parliamentary Secretariat.

Fiji Sun sources have confirmed that a staff member at the Secretariat was verbally abused by a senior member after a request to attend training overseas was turned down.

A number of senior staff members had put in a request to go to London, England, for three days for training, which would have cost the Fijian taxpayers close to $70,000, our sources revealed.

The staff member, who was the victim of the alleged verbal abuse, had viewed the request and did a cost analysis.

Based on the analysis, the staff member recommended that the trip was too expensive and the same training the senior members were requesting could be done here at a lower cost, which is why the request was turned down.

According to our sources, one of the senior staff members who was to attend the training in England found out about the request being turned down. This staff member allegedly approached the person responsible and said: “It’s not your father’s money.”

Sources have also revealed that the recent suspension of the person responsible for turning down the request was raising questions among the staff. When the request was turned down, numerous complaints about the person who turned down the request were allegedly made for various reasons.

Sources also confirmed that when the person responsible was suspended without pay, the Secretariat bosses may have breached the Employment Regulation Promulgation by not giving the said person the opportunity to respond to the allegations and by not giving enough notice prior to the suspension.

When contacted for a comment, the suspended staff member told Fiji Sun she had been spoken to by the Secretary-General to Parliament, Viniana Namosimalua, and was told she may lose her job if she revealed anything.

Numerous questions sent to Ms Namosimalua and her deputy, Jeanette Emberson, still remained unanswered. Repeated calls made to them were also unanswered.

Ms Namosimalua had told Fiji Sun earlier that she was not obliged to speak to the news media or any journalist but would only answer to the Public Accounts Committee.

Public Accounts Committee chair Ashneel Sudhakar said the Parliament Secretariat would be called in to answer to the Committee if an issue arises from their financial reports.

Another staff member who wished to remain anonymous confirmed Ms Namosimalua held numerous closed door meetings with all the staff. She warned them not leak any information out to the news media or they would face suspension, the staff member said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj



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