FICAC grapples with personnel challenges

January 11, 2024 12:40 pm

[File Photo]

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption is facing challenges due to a shortage of personnel with specific skill sets, which impedes their efforts to address corruption-related offences.

Acting Deputy Commissioner, Francis Puleiwai acknowledges that training has been provided in certain areas.

However, she says some trained employees have since departed, leaving FICAC grappling with staffing issues.

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Puleiwai says FICAC faces a shortage of personnel skilled in digital forensics, further complicating matters as their existing tools are now outdated.

“We were so unfortunate that many of them left and we only have one and this is one of the area we are looking at. This greatly helps the investigators when there is an investigation or a bribery that happens the digital forensic is who we look into, for them to conduct and set up the operations as well.”

Puleiwai also admits that FICAC does not have any certified fraud examiner, however, they are making proactive efforts to train officers for certification, though the current number undergoing training is insufficient.

“There are currently about five that are attending the fraud examination at the moment, and once they are qualified we have about only that much. With the number of cases we currently handle, we have about 150 approximately about 150 cases that are currently pending in court.”

FICAC is advocating for more meaningful engagement to address the challenges they encounter, ensuring they are adequately equipped to fulfil their mandated responsibility.