Draft Police Bill does not represent government policy: PM
March 17, 2021 6:46 am
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the text of the so-called Draft Fiji Police Bill does not represent government policy and will not be presented to Parliament.
Bainimarama confirmed to FBC News this morning the draft Bill was drafted and released unilaterally by the Police Force.
He says it was not cleared by the Solicitor General’s Office nor was it brought to Cabinet for government’s endorsement.
The PM adds it is standard practice that government agencies consult within the government before seeking consultation from the public.
He also highlighted there is a pressing need to update the 56-year-old legislation governing the Fiji Police Force in the context of new and evolving criminal threats.
The Head of Government says they cannot preserve public safety in the 21st Century through backwards steps that erode public trust in the Police Force.
Any future amendments to the Fiji Police Act will be made available for public consultation after endorsement by the Cabinet and the Solicitor General’s Office to ensure that they respect the constitutional rights of every Fijian.
Bainimarama says they have retracted consultation on the Police Bill as it was not endorsed by Solicitor General and Cabinet.