No more direct talks

Tevita Boseiwaqa
Tevita Boseiwaqa

 

Direct dealing for State land leases with officials of the Lands Ministry will soon be a thing of the past as it will be advertised from next month.

Ministry permanent secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa yesterday said they were moving away from face to face dealings to avoid corruptive practices.

“This is a time for change to ensure transparency is noticed in our work because we usually encountered problems in the past where corruptive measures were entertained,” he said.

“Such dealings also spur nepotism, for instance, officials only award the lease to people they know instead of a more suitable candidate.

“What we have found out lately is that direct dealings are not a fair system because most applications are not considered in the normal process as the official handling the application will only choose who he or she knows and discard the rest.”

Mr Boseiwaqa said the first set of advertisements would be publicised next month.

“This will be an ongoing process for us as we work towards discouraging nepotism and other corruptive practices within the ministry.

“This will also enhance the process of lease applications as those interested applicants will have their applications assessed by an allocation committee who will liaise with relevant authorities for approval.”

Under the New Standard Operational Procedure, the Director for Lands will consult the permanent secretary before approving leases.

By: FIJI TIMES