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AG calls for more accurate reporting

September 22, 2015 7:14 pm

The Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has clarified media reports that funds totaling 100-million dollars were unaccounted for are incorrect.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the hundred million dollars being referred to be the average amount allocated to HEAD50 over a period of 15 years and this information was available to the media in the budget last year.

He added that he had received emails about the funds but he did not respond because he needed clarification about whether he could comment on a matter that was before the Public Accounts Committee.

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The Minister says the articles paints a bad image of Fiji not being a transparent country to the outside world and that journalists as well as media organisations should be more careful when reporting.

“There has been a lot of irresponsible reporting unfortunately in this instance by the Fiji Times by taking a particular answer out of context and putting a spin to it. Unfortunately the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee has continued to feed into this instead of saying: we will wait for the response from the Ministry of Finance to see if there are any anomalies or missing funds. That’s precisely what the chairman should have done because nobody can arrive at a conclusion without having all the facts and information first.”

Sayed-Khaiyum says the Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni yesterday granted him permission to comment on the matter.

Comments from the Fiji Times have been sought.

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