Fiji Labour Party today called on the Auditor general to urgently investigate the irregularities involving the shipping franchise scheme under which vessels are still being paid despite expiry of their contracts.
How can the ministry unilaterally decide on a matter of granting extension when the Major Tenders Board is charged with this responsibility? asked the assistant Secretary General, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi.
It seems the entire process of granting and renewing contracts were subjected to corrupt deals in order to facilitate political pay-offs. This is obvious from the allegations/complaints raised by other stakeholders. It appears that some senior ministry officials are manipulating the process whereby they have effectively hijacked the role of Major Tenders Board. This is indeed a very dangerous revelation therefore those responsible must be investigated and charged for official corruption.
It seems that political pay-offs is taking over the principles of good governance, accountability and transparency on the expense of taxpayers of this country. The Auditor General must seek explanation on the matter including, granting of extension to certain vessel owners without following proper procedures.
“Explanation must also be sought as to why the authorities concerned ignored lower bidders and opted to grant extension to those with much higher rates”, Government should be accountable to the taxpayers and stop abusing taxpayer’s money recklessly, said Mr. Vayeshnoi.