FNPF help for laptops ‘abused’

FNPF general manager member services Alipate Waqairawai speaking at the FNPF annual member forum in Suva. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU/FT FILE

Assistance by the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) in previous years to buy laptop computers for educational purposes was often misused and abused.

This, according to FNPF general manager member services Alipate Waqairawai during the FNPF annual member forum at Koronivia, Nausori, on Tuesday.

He made the statement while responding to a query from a member on why the educational assistance only covered tuition and textbooks when this was already covered by scholarships.

The member asked whether this could be extended to purchasing laptop computers. Mr Waqairawai said they had received similar suggestions in other member forums.

“Like any organisation, FNPF periodically reviews its policies and guidelines,” he said.

“As and when it reviews and when we think that it aligns with our purpose, we will make the relevant changes, but it’s probably best for me to sort of give you a background,” Mr Waqairawai as part of his explanation.

“FNPF used to provide laptop assistance previously. We used to provide that, but then we stopped because when we did an investigation, there was widespread abuse of the policies. That’s why we stopped it.

“However, as you rightly pointed out, not only you but other members. So we will take on board your suggestions.

“Normally, what we do is that when we get recommendations from forums such as this, we will go back and then discuss it and we will make the relevant decisions.

“If we make the changes, we will make the relevant public announcements. But one of the reasons also that we’ve also stopped it previously is because laptops are now a very common item that can be very readily available from any hire purchase or any place,” Mr Waqairawai said.

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