March 11, 2013

Two Forum Sec staff in work permit breach claims

08:08 Yesterday (March 10, 2013)

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat says its liaising with Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address issues relating to the work permit and visa exemptions of two senior officers.

It’s understood the staff in question breached their work visas.

A statement from the Forum Secretariat said in adhering to the laws of Fiji as well as the Forum Secretariat’s legal responsibilities as an international organisation, these staff members have ceased all work-related activities while awaiting clearance from the Ministry.

PACNEWS was reliably informed that two senior officers, whose work contracts expired last year were still engaged by the Suva Secretariat, without visa exemption and work permit clearance from Fiji’s Foreign office.

The Secretariat said it remains confident that all parties will come to an amicable solution very soon.

It adds in the meantime, arrangements have been put in place so that the Secretariat’s services to Members remain uninterrupted.

PACNEWS reports Fiji’s foreign ministry has given one of the staff 24 hours to leave the country.

One of them breached his work permit when he pursued a Masters programme at the University of the South Pacific, a breach of his working permit.

In addition, the Pacific Islands Forum failed to inform the Fijian foreign ministry that their contracts have been extended for a few months.

Both the officers are believed to be currently acting in other senior positions.

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