PWD Four Sentenced Again

Media Team   |   20 Nov 2019

Former Public Works Department (PWD) employees received additional sentences for defrauding PWD, in the Suva High Court on Monday.

Ms Ana Laqere, Ms Vaciseva Lagai, Ms Vilisi Tuitavuki and Mr Kiniviliame Taviraki were each sentenced to three (3) years in prison, to be served alongside their current jail terms.

They were charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2014 with one (1) count each of Abuse of Office and 10, 13, three (3) and two (2) counts of Causing a Loss respectively.

The Accused individuals facilitated the processing of false payments amounting to $34, 236.77 FJD to be made to Professional Stationeries despite the required goods and services not being supplied, between January and May 2010.

At that time, they served as Assistant Accounts Officers, Temporary Relieving Clerical Officer and the Acting Senior Technical Officer with PWD at the Walu Bay office.

While delivering the sentence, High Court Judge Mr Salesi Temo said that each of them, as public servants, had the duty to be honest and faithful in performing their functions and duties.

He further emphasised that PWD acted through their employees to provide a service to the public and the failure of the four (4) Accused to carry out their specific roles, denied the public of this service.

He stated the offences were a well planned derogation of duty whereby they flouted PWD’s procurement procedures.

Judge Temo also said that though they changed their plea to guilty after five (5) years and six (6) months of being charged with these offences, this was taken as a mitigating factor as they still saved the court time.