The growing role by the European Commission in Fiji’s socio-economic development dominated talks on Monday between Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the EC Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development Neven Mimica in Brussels.
Many of the young voters registration clerk around the country have not being paid their wages for the past four weeks.
This was revealed in a statement by United People’s Party leader Mick Beddoes.
Beddoes said the clerks were told to use their own money to continue working until their pay is given.
Beddoes said late Friday 3, 2012, he had received calls from disgruntled parents and a few workers frustrated by the weekly false promises of pay, which never comes and refusal by election officials to sort out the problem.
Beddoes said in Lautoka alone some 100 workers are involved and about 50 have still not been paid wages in more than 4 weeks.
Beddoes said voter registration clerks call and enquire about their allowances and pay but their calls were turned down by election officials in Suva.
He said they are blaming Aus Aid and other international donors for not paying in funds as promised, which is why workers can’t get paid.
The officials seem happy to accept praise for the fort so far, but appear incapable of handling the basic administrative requirements of paying their workers wages correctly.
However, permanent secretary for Elections, Mere Vuniwaqa said the Elections Office takes very seriously the payment of wages to registration clerks for their work in Fiji’s Electronic Voter Registration.
“In a number of cases, issues have arisen over the payment of wages to clerks because the Elections Office has been provided with incorrect bank details, or the details of closed or inactive accounts,” said Vuniwaqa.
She said in particular, a number of issues have occurred over name matching.
“In order for the bank to process a payment, the name provided to the Elections Office must exactly match the name in the bank’s records.”
“The AusAid Human Resources Official working with the Elections Office has confirmed that almost half of the registration clerks have to be paid by cheque due to continuing issues with their bank account details.”
The Elections Office acknowledges that this is an issue and is working both to ensure timely payment to all registration clerks and to remedy the situation moving forward.
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