Not so long ago, the Attorney General said that that Fijipensioners-Grey Power, silver surfers’ (and supporters) request (plea, even) to His Excellency the President to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to look into  the FNPF was ‘laughable’ because he (meaning the President) did not have that ‘power’.
The AG also said, the FNPF had been reviewed before (presumably he meant when the last changes had taken place), and asked (rhetorically since we are not allowed to answer back in the same media where he finds his voice), why did we not ask for an inquiry then?
Apart from the fact that this was a comment devoid of an understanding of checks and balances in legal systems- to explain, we did not need a Commission of Inquiry then because we had a Parliament, where debates, select committees and active bi-partisan consultations took place, and questions asked in the House under the protection of Parliamentary privilege to allow full freedom of expression- clearly the Attorney General seems to be oblivious to the fact that a Commission of Inquiry is the President’s prerogative, not that of the Government of the day.
Unless the law has changed on this when we were not looking?
In any case, the FNPF advertisements published in the daily newspapers show serious discrepancies in a number of areas that require deeper investigations than even a court of law may be able to address since a court can only consider the applications made to it and not the wider financial implications of lack of good governance within the FNPF.
Questions such as: (1) why no FNPF audits?; or at least full disclosure to the beneficiaries of any audits already done; (2) the details of the write-downs/write-offs of the contributors’ funds in various investments- how did that happen?; (3) recommendations made in the reports commissioned by the FNPF Board about the functioning of the investment decisions made over the years pre and post 2006- what were they? (and why so secretive?); (4) suspicion of wrong doing, lack of transparency and insider deals apparently associated with a number of investments- can we have the full Ernst and Young Report please? It’s doing the under-ground circuit anyway!; (5) what kind of deal is FNPF proposing with the GPH development (which looks unimaginative to say the least, notwithstanding the CEO gushing to Government at its launch that ‘it was thinking outside the box’- hopefully we are not all going to end up in the box, 6 feet under!); (6) How the current Board members were appointed and what limitations there are to their power to amend the FNPF Act and, apropos of this, can we sue them given they are trustees NOT acting in the interest of the beneficiaries; and (7) is FNPF another NBF?
These are some questions- perhaps put in slightly more refined language than this, to be asked of any Commission of Inquiry. The Burness case has given us an opportunity to draft our own terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry; we should start on those TORs straight away in preparation for when the Commission of Inquiry may take place. Perhaps we should invite our supporters to also think of some TORs since there are so many among our Grey Power network who have financial aptitude, are well-educated, articulate, and currently energized in support of the movement to protect our pensions from what looks like a marauding enterprise.
Grey Power