Fiji Government To Release Financial Information Since 2007

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Opposition welcomes promise of transparency, expects comprehensive figures

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 17, 2014) – The detailed breakdown of Government finances dating back to 2007 will be tabled in Parliament today.

This was confirmed by Attorney-General and Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during his maiden speech in Parliament following discussions with the Auditor-General on Wednesday.

"I wish to inform the House that following discussions with the Auditor- General's Office last night, I have been informed that the reports going back to 2007 will be printed and ready for submission to this House tomorrow morning," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said yesterday.

Opposition leader Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa said the announcement by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was a welcoming one and would bring to the forefront the use of taxpayers' money by Government dating back to 2007.

"I am looking forward to the tabling of these reports as he says it goes right back to 2007 which we have been asking for sometime," Ro Teimumu said.

"It is very important for us to know what has been the expenditure of government and whether the finances are health up until that point and than the Public Accounts Committee will be sitting very shortly to look at the years after 2007," she said.

Opposition member and NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad also welcomed the announcement as he in his maiden speech on Wednesday called on Mr Sayed-Khaiyum and Prime Minister to immediately release the report.

"Both before the general election and in Parliament on Wednesday, the NFP has been calling for the release of the Auditor-General's Reports in the interest of transparency and accountability," Prof Prasad said.

He said while the reports should have been released much earlier, government's tabling in Parliament comes after repeated calls for government to do so.

Prof Prasad said the reports should consist the following:

He said the Opposition expects nothing less other than reports of a comprehensive audit given the serious qualifications of the Auditor-General in the financial and appropriation statements of the last seven years.

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