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Maharaj Corrects Tikoduadua on FBC ‘Grant Claim’

Maharaj Corrects Tikoduadua on FBC ‘Grant Claim’
From left NFP Senior Party official Kamal Iyer with the President NFP Pio Tikoduadua while submitting their Bill to the Standing Committie on January 10,2019.Photo:Simione Haravanua.
January 11
10:00 2019

Another “claim” by the National Federation Party (NFP) on a Government grant to a media company was corrected yesterday during the Code of Conduct Bill submissions at Parliament House in Suva.

Party president Pio Tikoduadua, while making the Party’s parliamentary submission to the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights, had said that the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) was given $11.3 million annually as a Public Service Broadcast grant.

However, Committee chair Alvick Maharaj reminded Mr Tikoduadua that the Government does not give grants to FBC as claimed.

Instead, Chairman Maharaj said the Government paid an annual fee to FBC for the work carried out for the Government.

Furthermore on the Party’s submission, Mr Tikoduadua said Schedule 6 of the Bill omitted taxpayer funded organisations such as the Chair and chief executive officers of the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) and FBC.

He then suggested that commercial authorities and Government commercial companies who receive funding from Government be included in the Bill.

Also suggested was an extension of the Bill to include people who are charged with managing large sums of taxpayers money to fund their organisation.

Mr Tikoduadua pointed out that there was a need for genuine transparency and accountability in the Bill.

Also making its submission were the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Office of the Auditor-General.

There were suggestions made for the State appointees to be held accountable as they manage the investments of the Government.

They suggested that complaints should be safeguarded and if the complainant was not satisfied with the result of the investigations, they should have the right to appeal.

A question was also raised as to how the Commission would determine if the complainant was not politically motivated to defame an individual.

Therefore suggestions were also made that there must be some mechanisms to filter these complaints, and that they were not based on some fabrication.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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