IMF welcomes OAG audit report on govt ministries’ use of covid-19 funds


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has welcomed the recent publication of the Auditor General’s audit reports of the three government ministries spending of covid-19 funds.

IMF team leader who is the country for the 2023 IV Consultation Mr Masafumi Yabara had held discussion with various stakeholders in the country from February 8-21, 2023 and preliminary findings of their mission were compiled and announced in a media conference yesterday.

Yabara said IMF welcomes the publication of the results of an audit of covid-19 related expenditures.

“IMF staff recommends that the government audit expenditures related to the Pacific Games once the event is over and publish the results.

“Reviewing the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) Act and establishing regulations is critically important to ensure that the funds are used effectively and transparently.

“Introducing a Value Added Tax is a highly priority for consolidating the fragmented tax systems and yielding additional revenues over the medium term by improving compliance and expanding the tax base in line with the economy

“The Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) should phase out its accommodative monetary measures, given the ongoing recovery and high inflation. Further purchase of government securities at the secondary market should be avoided to safeguard macroeconomics stability and independence of the Central Bank. The current exchange rate regimes remain appropriate, but timely review of the currency basket is called for, given changes in trade patterns.

“Addressing structural bottlenecks including land registration is needed to generate new sources of inclusive growth. Establishing strong governance and fiscal regimes for the mining sector, including through finalizing a Mining Act and rejoining the Extractive Industries Transparency initiative, remains a priority. Ensuring independence and increasing resources of anti-corruption and auditing institutions is essential to advancing reforms to limit corruption and enhance accountability of public spending.

“The IMF team wishes to express its deep appreciation to the authorities and other stakeholders for frank and constructive discussion,” Yabara said.

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