The aim of this paper is twofold: firstly to examine how the concepts of accounting and accountability are understood by indigenous Fijians; and secondly to examine the role of accounting in the accountability of provincial councils. Provincial councils are part of the Fijian Administration, which runs alongside the central government but applies only to indigenous Fijians. The Fijian Administration was introduced by the British colonial administration in the late 1800s as a mechanism for controlling indigenous Fijians. It has undergone several reviews resulting from criticisms that it has failed to fulfill the aspirations of indigenous Fijians. There is evidence of implied and actual accountability by indigenous Fijians in Namosi. This is supported by monitoring mechanisms established by provincial offices. On the other hand, neither the Fijian Affairs Board nor the Namosi Provincial Council appears to take serious responsibility for accounting to indigenous Fijians in the province. Sadly, there is little evidence to demonstrate an explicit accountability to indigenous Fijians. Significant scope exists for improving the standard of accounting and accountability by provincial councils. This study contributes to understanding the role of accounting among indigenous peoples, in the context of inherited colonial structures. It also represents accounting research conducted by indigenous academics, primarily in the Fijian language. This enables an examination of how language frames understanding of accounting concepts.
Recommended CitationRika, N.; Tuiloa, M.; Tuiseke, N.; and Finau-Tavite, S., Accounting and accountability by provincial councils in Fiji: the case of Namosi, Australasian Accounting, Business and Finance Journal, 2(1), 2008.