Fiji Bureau of Statistics CEO’s contract terminated, FRCS Acting CEO resigns

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    Fiji’s Ministry of Economy, through the acting Permanent Secretary, has terminated the contract of the chief executive officer of the Fiji Bureau of Statistics (“Bureau”), Kemueli Naiqama, for failure to comply with section five of the Statistics Act 1961.

    According to a statement by the Fijian Government, in an unfortunate blow to the Bureau’s credibility, Naiqama endorsed the publication of unverifiable information in the Housing Income and Expenditure Survey 2019-2020 relating to ethnicity and religion –– data that was revealed to be extrapolated from erroneous sources and which exceeded the established scope of the survey’s data collection.

    The Fiji Bureau of Statistics is charged with the collection of statistics relating to any of the matters set out in Schedule one of the Statistics Act 1961 as subject to the approval and direction of the Minister for Economy.

    By exceeding the scope of data collection and ignoring fact-based methodology, Mr Naiqama breached the terms of his contract with the Ministry.

    Under his employment contract, Naiqama will be paid all salary and accrued entitlements for the period up to 15 September 15, 2021.

    Meanwhile, Fiji Revenue and Customs Service acting chief executive officer Jonetani Vuto has resigned.

    According to a statement by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, his resignation is effective as of this Friday.

    FRCS added in the interim, FRCS Board Chair, Fay Yee has been appointed as the executive chair by the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

    “The Board acknowledges the contribution that Vuto has made during his term as Acting CEO since January 2021 and wishes him well as he pursues his personal ambitions,” stated Yee.

    Vuto has thanked the Government, FRCS Board, stakeholders and the team at FRCS for their support during his term as Acting CEO.

    He said it has been a privilege to be part of FRCS over the past 31 years and it has been an honor to have led the organisation with the support of the Board and the team to serve the people of Fiji.

    SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS