The Ministry of Economy, through the Acting Permanent Secretary, has terminated the contract of the CEO of the Fiji Bureau of Statistics (“Bureau”), Mr Kemueli Naiqama, for failure to comply with Section 5 of the Statistics Act 1961.

In an unfortunate blow to the Bureau’s credibility, Mr 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 1 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, Mr Naiqama will be paid all salary and accrued entitlements for the period up to 15 September 2021.