By: Anish Chand
Fiji’s Ministry of Local Government has placed a ban on overseas travel by any city or town council CEO or Special Administrators.
“No Special Administrator or Chief Executive are to travel overseas on official engagement until further notice,” a circular sent to all municipal Chief Executive Officers and signed by the new Local Government Permanent Secretary Dimity Fifer states.
Fifer says this directive will remain in place until new Special Administrators and CEOs are appointed.
These positions were recently advertised, with Local Government Minister, Premila Kumar telling parliament last month that her Ministry will appoint five special administrators to oversee the strategic management of councils.
Municipal elections in Fiji were last held in 2005. Opposition parties continue to call for the resumption of local elections, but the government remains unmoved, with Minister Kumar telling parliament in April, “Years of pettiness, factionalism and a lack of strategic focus and vision have left Municipal Councils in a poor state and it will take time to fix this as it requires a paradigm shift.”