In what can only be described as one of the worst cases of nepotism and cronyism, the Administrator of Suva City Council (SCC), Vijendra Prakash, has officially stated he has the approval of the interim regime’s Local Government Minister to employ his family members in SCC.
Prakash made the revelation during a meeting of the SCC Audit Committee on the 24th July, 2009. The minutes of the meeting were part of the document known as the full minutes normally tabled and passed during full council meetings at the end of each month – during the era of democratically elected town and city councillors.
The minutes, once adopted at the end of each month, are public documents and can be accessed by ratepayers and citizens.
Page 57 of the minutes under Corporate Governance contains the revelations by Vijendra Prakash. The minutes reveal the meeting, attended by Prakash and management of the Council, discussed a report from the SCC Internal Auditor on “allegations made by whistleblowers”.
This means that Prakash ordered an investigation following our revelation of the fact that Prakash’s sister (and lately his brother), as well as relatives of dairy farmers, are employed at the SCC. The minutes show that Prakash wanted to know who had revealed information to us.
Following the Auditor’s report that is not revealed, Prakash stated the interim Local Government Minister had stated “employing family members in the Council organization was not a problem but positions must be first advertised”.
In a warning to the un-identified whistleblower, the meeting resolved that the SCC Legal Section warn the whistleblower that false allegations could lead to disciplinary action.
The Council Solicitor and Human Resources Manager were tasked with ensuring a healthy working environment.
The Local Government interim minister that Prakash referred to is Filipe Bole. From today the new Local Government interim minister is Colonel Samuela Saumatua who was sworn into the interim regime’s Cabinet by Acting President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
Read extract of the SCC Minutes of 24th July 2009 - http://www.mediafire.com/?jnmotnttnhm