Hon. Dr Sikua said for purposes of transparency and accountability, the government should not be secretive about the composition of its delegations to participate in meetings or any other engagements abroad especially when their travel expenses and allowances are footed with taxpayers’ money.
He said attempts by his office to obtain the list of the delegates to the Rio+20 summit from the Prime Minister’s office was futile and it had to come up with a strategy to get the Prime Minister’s Office to unveil the composition of the delegation and it has achieved the desired result.
“Nevertheless, 17 delegates are still too many for Solomon Islands and it is apparent from the statement by the Prime Minister’s Office that the inclusion of some of these delegates is unnecessary and therefore a total waste of taxpayers’ money that should be well utilized in addressing pressing issues domestically.
“Furthermore, an interesting revelation is that inclusion of the wife of the Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology in the delegation as the Supervising Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology especially when the Acting Permanent Secretary for this ministry, Mr Chanel Iroi is also in attendance.
“As a matter of fact, relevant authorities are unaware of the appointment of Mrs Jennifer Fugui as the Supervising Permanent Secretary in the aforesaid ministry as stated by the Prime Minister’s Office,” Hon. Dr Sikua said.
But the Office of the Prime Minister last night explained that the Opposition’s reference to Mrs Fugui as the Supervision Permanent Secretary of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology was in-correct.
The statement said at no time it had referred to Mrs Fugui as the supervising PS in the ministry of Environment.
“Our statement on Thursday which detailed the members of the PM’s delegation to the Rio de Janeiro conference had said that the officers include: Mrs Fugui, Supervising Permanent Secretary of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology Chanel Iroi, Under-Secretary for Planning Allan Daonga, whose ministry is the focal point for sustainable development and will also deal with what come outs of Rio.”
“We wish to clarify that the Mrs. Fugui was only accompanying her husband who is also the Minister of Environment Hon. John Moffat Fugui, whilst Mr. Chanel Iroi remains the supervising permanent secretary,” the statement said.
The Opposition Leader meanwhile reiterated his call on the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development to announce the contractors awarded the contracts for the renovation for the Prime Minister’s Office, the Red House and the Red House guardhouse.
He said it is questionable why the two authorities declined to respond to his calls for the disclosure of the contractors engaged in these important renovation projects, the merit of their selection, the value of the renovation projects and why two separate contracts were given for the Red House itself and the Red House guardhouse.
Hon. Dr Sikua claimed according to reliable information obtained by his office, the PMO renovation contract was given to the controversial ‘Assistant Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, John Dominic under the guise of KR Construction- a non- existent construction firm, whilst the Red House guardhouse renovation project was awarded to a group consisting of the Prime Minister’s in-laws.
He said the projects are funded by the state and therefore the taxpayers of the country are entitled to know how well their money is spent as far as these important renovation projects are concerned.
But secretary to the Prime Minister, Barnabas Anga, said claims by the Leader of the Opposition Dr. Derek Sikua that the award of contracts to contractors of the Red House and the Prime Minister’s Office were influenced by the Prime Minister were incorrect.
Mr Anga said the award of contract to the Red House was done independently by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the PM had no say or whatsoever.
He said the contractor was picked on its merit based on experience and qualification centered on the submission to the OPMC/MTB
Mr Anga explained that there was a process in place and the successful bidder was selected fairly by the OPMC/MTB.
He said that there were two contractors working at the Red House compound, one engaged to maintain the Red House while the other was contracted to repair the security-house.
Mr Anga said the contractors were engaged for repair work and not a construction project as stated by Sikua.
On the repairs to the PMO, Mr Anga said it’s absolutely wrong to link John Dominic with the contractor.
The award of the tender was done by the OPMC/MTB and the documents presented to the board have no connection or whatsoever to John Dominic.
He said the person given the contract to carry out the repair work was chosen based on his professionalism.
Also, the person was selected because he was able to carry out the job without Government paying the first installment.
Mr. Anga said it was wrong to implicate the PM in this issue as Mr. Lilo has no say in the process given that the OPMC/MTB is an independent body which carries out its functions independently.
|< Prev||Next >|