Bank Details Blamed For Unpaid Fiji Election Staff Issues

admin's picture

Elections officials claim clerks will receive due money in checks

By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 6, 2012) – The Fiji Elections Office has blamed continuing issues with bank account details as the main reason behind electronic voter registration clerks not receiving their wages.

Permanent secretary for Elections Mere Vuniwaqa said in a statement that there had been a number of cases where issues had arisen over the payment of wages to clerks.

"In particular, a number of issues have occurred over name-matching," she said.

"In order for the bank to process a payment, the name provided to the Elections Office must exactly match the name in the bank's records.

"If the name in the bank's files, for example, includes a middle name or middle initial, this would be required for payment to be accepted."

She said most of the clerks would be paid by check because of the bank account issues.

"In Viti Levu, account officers have been travelling to voter registration centers last night (Saturday) and today (Sunday) to hand-deliver individual checks to ensure that the clerks receive payment.

"In Vanua Levu, checks are being dispatched tomorrow (today) by air," Ms. Vuniwaqa said.

Ms. Vuniwaqa explained the difficulties in paying the clerks following comments made by former parliamentarian Mick Beddoes on the issue.

Mr. Beddoes said half of the 100 workers in Lautoka had not been paid their wages in more than four weeks, a situation he branded shameful.

"The officials seem happy to accept praise for the effort so far, but appear incapable of handling the basic administrative requirements of paying their workers' wages correctly," he said.

However, Ms. Vuniwaqa said Mr. Beddoes’ attempts to politicize the issue were inappropriate and irresponsible.

"If he was concerned about these issues regarding the payment of salaries he could have directly contacted me and sought clarification.

"He, however, has chosen to go the media and undermine this national process," she said.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment