FIJI GOVERNMENT SCAMS CAUSED BY ‘INSTITUTIONAL FAILURE’

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NBF fraud and Agricultural scam followed previous coups

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 23, 2010) - Institutional failure played a big role in two of Fiji’s worst scams – the National Bank of Fiji fraud and the Agriculture scam, a workshop in Suva heard today.

Former judge and workshop facilitator Nazhat Shameem said the two scams occurred after the coups of 1987 and 2000 respectively.

"Many entities are neutralized as a result of historical events. There are no set procedures and policies in place and this is when the vultures come in," Shameem told participants.

"Government ministries and corporate entities forget to ask themselves, what really is their job?

"It’s a situation where national interest is mixed up with political influence," she said.

Shameem noted that the agriculture scam was again highlighted by the media like the NBF crisis and ‘it’s not a very happy story’.

According to Shameem, the purpose of the workshop is that ‘there is this huge grey area in which rules of corporate governance have not been clearly laid out for corporate entitie’.

She added that there is either always a lack of procedure on how to carry out functions or a failure to monitor and have a surveillance mechanism in place to avoid such scams from occurring at all.

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