Politics

Registrar Refers SODELPA To FICAC For Breaches

The particulars of the discrepancies were forwarded to the Party and SODELPA provided written responses to the Registrar on 18 January 2021 and 25 January 2021.
04 Feb 2021 11:24
Registrar Refers SODELPA To FICAC For Breaches
Registrar of Political Parties Mohammed Saneem.

In November 2020, the Registrar began the verification process for SODELPA disclosures.

Then on 03 December 2020 the Registrar wrote a letter to the party informing them that it had completed its verification process and discovered various discrepancies from 2015 to 2019.

The particulars of the discrepancies were forwarded to the Party and SODELPA provided written responses to the Registrar on 18 January 2021 and 25 January 2021.

After perusing the responses from the Party, and scrutinising the legal provisions related to the disclosure and maintenance of finances, the Registrar has referred the Party to FICAC for the following reasons which constitute breaches of the Act:

a. The party has failed to particularise the exact sources of funds it received. A lot of the disclosures to the Registrar were noted as bulk payments that are not permitted by law and exceed the maximum donation requirements.

Such manner of recording income also prevents the Registrar from verifying the exact amount of donations that a person has made.

b. Non Disclosures of Sources of Funds:
i. In 2015, the Party failed to issue receipts for $290,883.00 as required under section 17 of the Act.
ii. In 2016, the Party failed to issue receipts for $304,129.90 as required under section 17 of the Act.
iii. In 2017, the Party failed to issue receipts for $415,864.71 as required under section 17 of the Act.
iv. In 2018, the Party failed to issue receipts for $507,938.88 as required under section 17 of the Act.

v. In 2019, the Party failed to issue receipts for $471,184.05 as required under section 17 of the Act.

Furthermore, under section 21(4) of the Act, the Registrar finds that the following persons from SODELPA who held Office at the material time have failed to disclose information in relation to the funds obtained by the Party:

a. 2015 – President – Ratu Silivenusi Waqausa, Registered Officer – Late Pio Tabaiwalu.
b. 2016 – President – Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Registered Officer – Adi Litia Qionibaravi
c. 2017 – President – Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Registered Officer – Adi Litia Qionibaravi
d. 2018 – President – Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Registered Officer – Adi Litia Qionibaravi
e. 2019 – President – Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, Registered Officer – Adi Litia Qionibaravi

Due to the high number of instances of the breaches and also the lack of compliance with accounting rules and standards, in particular, the raising of receipts, doubt is cast on the Audit Report received by the Registrar. Given the above, the Registrar refers the Independent Auditor, I. Naiveli & Co. to FICAC under section 26(5) of the Act.

Pursuant to section 23 of the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act, 2013 [“Act”] a political party must within 30 days of the end of its financial year provide to the Registrar of Political Parties [“Registrar”] its sources of funds stating the amount of money received from its members and supporters, amount and sources of the donations, income and expenditure as well as assets and liabilities.

Further section 26 of the Act states that audited accounts of political parties must be submitted to the Registrar within 3 months after the end of each financial year.

Upon receipt of the documents required under section 23 and section 26 of the Act, the Registrar normally liaises with financial institutions to furnish the political party’s bank statements as well as liaise with the political party to furnish their receipt books. So with the bank statements, receipt books, audited accounts report and source of fund documents, the Registrar conducts a verification process in which the Registrar reconciles these documents.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj



Five Square da bang online sale


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Total
Covid 19 - SPC
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper