Rabuka to scrutinise bonus payments

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka stresses a point during a press conference in Suva. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Public enterprises seeking bonus payouts for staff members have been cautioned that a full and proper scrutiny of their operations will be made before a decision is made.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said instead of granting immediate approval, he had opted to scrutinise the payments – especially in enterprises where workers may have been laid off to improve the bottom line.

He made the comments while responding to queries from this newspaper.

“The most recent one was one of the public enterprise entities calling for my approval for bonus payments,” the PM said.

“I had to look at the whole book, look at their annual report, look at the auditor’s report, look at how they handled the pandemic situation, and find out whether they exercised their authority and executed everything according to my thinking of good governance.

“Did they lay off anyone? And still, if they laid off anybody and still came up with this bottom line, why couldn’t they have kept those people working and reduce your profit?

“In that way you looked after everybody during that difficult period. “That’s what I’m doing.

“When I send the questions back, everybody sits up. “Why is he asking these questions?

“I’m asking you those questions because I went through a difficult patch in my life.

“Otherwise, simple, approved, just send it back, according to the book, according to the bottom line – they deserve the bonus payments or performance payments or whatever.

“But if you have gone through the books, and you see what is the cost of getting that bottom line, you have to ask those questions.”

Mr Rabuka said he had knocked back one request from one organisation – but he would not disclose the public enterprise which made the request.

“The bonus payout has not been approved as yet.”

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