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New Regulations to govern festivals

January 18, 2021 4:35 pm

New laws are being drafted to govern all town and city festivals to bring about greater accountability and transparency.

Festival committee members and council representatives met in Suva today to go over the draft Festival Regulations 2021.

Local Government Minister Premila Kumar says the collapse of the now-defunct Hibiscus Events Group Incorporated, is an example of what can go wrong.

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“Gradually the committee members were put aside and this particular person assumed so much power. He became the sole signatory to all cheques.”

Kumar says festival committees in the past have failed to submit audited accounts justifying the use of public funds.

In some instances, event organisers have posted break-even financial results or failed to carry out civic projects.

Labasa Special Administrator and member of the Friendly North Festival Committee Ami Kohli says such positions are not for a lifetime.

“You don’t start thinking that you own the festival. In this one here (Regulations) we are allowing presidency for two years maximum.”

Some festivals have an annual budget of close to one million dollars.

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