‘Establish complaints mechanism’

Fiji Institute of Accountants outgoing President Pravinesh Singh (left) with Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Salote Madanavosa and incoming President Tarlochan Singh cut a cake to mark the Fiji Institute of accountants 50 Years anniversary celebration at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Denarau Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum urged the Fiji Institute of Accountants (FIA) to establish a complaints mechanism similar to that of the Fiji Law Society.

He said this while speaking at the FIAs 50th anniversary celebration in Nadi last week.

“You know lawyers, for a number of years in this country we called for self-regulation, at the time that we created the Independent Legal Services Commission there were over 300 complaints by individual citizens in this country,” he said.

“A lot of, or some lawyers I should say, got their backs up but the response we had was if you’re not doing anything wrong you should actually welcome this.

“Because it would weed out those people in your profession.

“To the lawyers I was saying ‘that is giving you a bad reputation’ that they are not adhering to internationally accepted best practices.

“We’ve of course subsequently seen a couple of lawyers have been banned for life — essentially for nicking people’s money from their trust accounts.

“That elevation of any profession is essentially critical and I hope that the council and FIA can actually look at that to give people confidence.

“You should not be scared. You should not be worried about having an independent process where complaints regarding members of your profession can be ventilated.

“I hope that the council can actually look at that because that will again mean that you’re elevating the status of your organisation.”

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