MPG Misuse $3 Million for Economic Growth Centres

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TRANSPARENCY Solomon Islands is calling on responsible authorities to take action on the recommendations and findings of the Office of the Auditor General’s Office with regard to officers abusing and misusing of public funds for personal benefit in government line ministries.

TSI commends the OAG on their special investigation into the use of $3million allocated for three Economic Growth Centres (EGCs) in Malaita Province; Suafa Bay (North Malaita), Faumamanu (East Malaita) and Afio (South Malaita) in Malaita Province.

According to OAG findings that TSI cited, in 2012 the Solomon Islands Government transferred the amount of $3million to the ANZ Bank account in the name of Malaita Chazon Authority (MCA). By July 2012 this fund was exhausted.

OAG noted, despite the existence of MCA internal financial procedures, these were not applied to the funding under audit. Further, the MCA governance and management structures were ignored as were the financial procedures when making payments.

MCA officers in charge of the funds has lack accounting and financial knowledge procedures which would have helped them to ensure funds spent were properly and accurately captured and reported as required by relevant public finance procedures. One wonders how these officers were employed in the first place when they obviously have no skills, experience or knowledge of accounting and finance.

It is this findings and lack of actions on the recommendations that demands the speedy passage of the Anti- Corruption Bill through the parliament to roll back corruption with a view to eliminating it in the public and private sector.

The judgment on Murray’s case should send a clear warning to public servants to stop dipping their hands into public funds and use it for their own benefit.

TSI calls on anti-corruption task force JANUS with the law enforcers to continue tracking down public officers abusing and misusing public funds for own personal benefit. The Auditor Generals Report is where they could start.