Fiji Commission investigates irregular allotment of housing lots

(Image from the Fiji Sun)

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Suva, February 14, 2022

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) is investigating how several former employees of the Housing Authority of Fiji acquired housing lots for themselves.

Acting Prime Minister, Attorney-General and Minister for Housing, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the statement during the question hour in Parliament.

The question was on an update of the Special Purpose Audit (Special Investigation) on several allotments and tenders awarded by the Housing Authority.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that several weaknesses were found in the operational side of the Housing Authority, in the management and middle management level, where people who should not have acquired those lots, had acquired them.

“Also, files related to the allocation of lots to several former employees have also been submitted to FICAC itself for them to investigate as to how the staff acquired these lots. That is the status. We have a new Board of Directors, chaired by the Fiji National Provident Fund Chief Executive Viliame Vodonaivalu. The Deputy Chair is the Chief Executive of Fiji Development Bank Saud Minam and Renee Duguivalu (an Engineer) from Nadi,” he said.

New Board of Directors

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that Susan Naidu, Manager of Koroipita Homes in Lautoka, Florence Takinana a lawyer and a Member of the real estate fraternity are among the directors.

“This board is currently finalising action plans and we hope to improve these processes within the Housing Authority of Fiji itself,” he said.

He admitted that much more can be done by the Office of the Auditor-General and that the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the audit were not met.

“We had asked them to verify all information by checking the titles office, FNPF and others. This was not done. We are informed that perhaps some people from the Auditor-General’s Office may have acquired some of those lots too and not necessarily entitled to it.

“So, there are a lot of things in the closet that is yet to be leaked out, but as a result of being proactive about it, the current board is in the process of finalising a draft lot allocation policy, which is going to be reviewed by the ministry and the board, a mechanism periodic declarations by Board Members also and all other staff,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Report and Picture Source: The Fiji Sun

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