Mala PAC hearing in doubt

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NON-EXECUTIVE members of Malaita Provincial Assembly that made-up the Provincial Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are yet to be in Auki for the upcoming budget meeting.

Deputy Clerk to Malaita Provincial Assembly, Florence Idufo’oa revealed this to Island Sun yesterday as preparation for the March 28 session gets underway.

 She said, last week the executive deliberated on the budget and PAC should go through the budget this week ahead of the meeting next week.

Idufo’oa explained that as per the budget process, after PAC’s budget scrutiny, the budget should be resubmitted to the executive to deliberate on recommendation by PAC prior to the meeting.

However, she said members of PAC are yet to be in Auki.

Meanwhile, the deputy provincial secretary David Filia Tuita highlighted the need to meet the budget process before passing it.

He said the province has experienced that with the revise budget passed in September 2021, which failed to meet the process and the budget was ruled null and void.

The issue was even brought to the floor of parliament by Provincial Government minister Rolland Seleso during the vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare last December.

In his contribution, he said investigation is due to be carried out into the budget passed by MPG in September 2021 because of failure to meet the process – not gone through PAC.

“And in-line to what minister had said, the MPG is currently operating on the original 2020/2021 budget and not the budget passed in September 2021,” Tuita said.

Also, the issue of reconciliation reportedly demanded by the non-executive bench with MARA government ahead of the meeting next week is yet to be done.

It is reported that members of non-executive had made a monetary demand of $160,000 and 16 tafuli’aes to be paid to them by MARA government in order to reconcile with them.

If not they will boycott the assembly meeting next week.

The demand was for unacceptable languages used on them during the motion of no confidence last year that was stopped by the Malaita public.

Explaining the compensation demand, MPA for ward 13, Danny Mana Siau recently said the demand is consultative and it’s something to deal with amongst them as leaders.

Premier Daniel Suidani said his government is ready with open arms to welcome colleague leaders from the non-executive bench for reconciliation to iron out things between them.

And with regards to the monetary demand, he said it’s something to discuss between them.

On that note, Tuita said his office continues to liaise with both parties to try and sort-out flaws between them, so that it won’t affect the upcoming budget meeting.

Malaita Provincial Assembly looks forward to pass a new budget for the new financial year 2022/2023 next week as the current financial year 2021/2022 will lapse at the end of this month.