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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 17) – The contract of a chief executive officer has been terminated by the Fiji Government, it has been revealed.

Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry chief executive officer Mitieli Baleivanualala's contract has been terminated by the Public Service Commission effective from January 9.

The termination of Mr. Baleivanualala's contract was confirmed by commission chairman Stuart Huggett.

Mr. Huggett said Mr. Baleivanualala was charged with breaches of the code of conduct involving a combination of events.

"At its December meeting last year the commission found the chief executive officer for Fisheries and Forestry, Mr. Mitieli Baleivanualala, guilty of all charges laid against him," he said.

He said Mr. Baleivanualala had failed to attend a fully funded meeting in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, due to visa difficulties, which were well known to him before he left Fiji.

He remained in Japan for the duration of that meeting but did not inform his employer. His traveling allowances were not fully refunded, said Mr. Huggett.

"Other charges related to direct and continual defiance by Mr. Baleivanualala of clear Public Service Commission replies to his requests and instructions on the issue of appointments, unauthorized consequential acting appointments and recovery of unauthorized salaries incurred from these appointments.

"The commission heard the mitigation submissions by Mr. Baleivanualala and his legal counsel at its first meeting this year on Monday January 9.

"In its subsequent deliberations the commission is satisfied that, under the terms of Mr. Baleivanualala's contract, termination is the only penalty that is warranted by the offences and charges."

Minister for Fisheries Konisi Yabaki said he had not been informed of the decision by Public Service Commission to terminate Mr. Baleivanualala's contract.

January 18, 2006

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