BY SAMIE WAIKORI
OUTSTANDING payment for contactors of the 2012 Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA) hosted in Solomon Islands are still being sought after by local contractors, seven years on.
The issue is being resurrected since Solomon Islands is bound to host another similar event, the Melanesian Arts Festival, in about two months’ time.
Local contractors from FOPA 2012, who are still crying to the government for their pay, question how the government is audacious enough to plan to host another regional festival while it still has not settled debts from the last one.
A person who was contracted to provide catering service for one of the FOPA satellite venues, Mr Jessy Tonisi, says they have cried and suffered for eight years – waiting on a government that has chosen to ignore them.
“In pursuing the issue we go as far as reaching the court where the court ordered the government for the payment.
“However, later, the government issued that we must provide some required documents before the payment which is another tactic used to continue delay or not making the payment,” Tonisi said.
He said government was merely making up excuses in asking for documents, which he says was unnecessary because every contractor was documented and recorded before work for FOPA 2012 began.
He reiterates the call on the government through the ministry of culture and tourism to pay the outstanding payments owed to the contractors.