$622,500 tala extra land payment under scrutiny

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 26 September 2018, 12:00AM

The payment of $622,500 tala for a piece of land at Olomanu has come under the scrutiny from the Parliament Finance and Expenditure Committee.

This is because the payment is additional to a separate payment of $9 million tala the Ministry of Police had made earlier for the same portion of land.

The Committee’s concerns were highlighted in the Government Response to the Finance and Expenditure Committee’s Report issued in 2015-2016.

The report consolidates responses from Government Ministries, Corporations and Authorities to the recommendations raised by the Finance and Expenditure Committee during their review of the Public Account 2015/2016 and was compiled by the Ministry of Finance. 

The Parliamentary Committee has recommended that the Ministry investigates the $622,500 payment for the same parcel of land at Olomanu. 

But to date there has been no updates from the Ministry on whether an investigation was done, in line with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee.

Emails to the Prison Services deputy Commissioner, Levaopolo Rosa Mene, were acknowledged. 

But there has been no response from Prison Services by the time this newspaper went to press last night.

Another issue highlighted by the Parliamentary Committee is for the Attorney General to formulate guidelines to minimise the high staff turnover rate in his Office, which has been marked as a key challenge faced by the Office. 

“The Committee noted that the Attorney General has the power to reclassify its operations and to restructure salaries within the principal level scale from $45,000 to $75,000. Increasing staff retention will ensure the Office is able to continually provide its services and assist the Government’s work.” 

In response, the Attorney General indicated they were working on staff retention strategies, through a restructure proposal that is currently in the pipeline and will be submitted to Cabinet for approval. 

“The Attorney General further notes that, pursuant to FK (17)31 issued on 23 August 2017, Cabinet has given instructions for all salary reclassifications and entitlements for Ministries not under P.S.C but are under M.O.F. regulations, regardless of their respective Acts and/or Boards, to seek Cabinet approval prior to any salary reclassifications or changes to entitlements/benefits being made effective as these are public monies. Therefore, all efforts to increase salaries, are subject to MOF approval before Cabinet considers,” stated the report. 

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 26 September 2018, 12:00AM

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