Minister Seleso to refer province over to Auditor General


MINISTER of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Rollen Seleso, is expected to ask the Auditor General Office to investigate the accounts of Malaita Province.

This is after he received the reports of the defeated $27 million revised budget and Public Accounts Committee from Speaker of Malaita Province’s Ronnie Butala, last Friday.

Seleso said the reports reflect some elements of ‘misappropriation’ on the revised budget.

He said there is likelihood to call on the Auditor General to investigate the province before any decision can be made on their future.

In terms of politics relating to the defeated revised budget, Seleso said he will leave that to Members of the Provincial Assembly in Malaita to deal with it.

He said in politics, it depends on the number game to change any government.

Seleso said the process to do that is recognised under the Standing Orders.

The revised budget was defeated through a voice vote, after the debate of the Finance Minister’s speech.

The Premier Daniel Suidan led government did not have the numbers during the voice vote after some of his ministers attended to personal commitments.

As such, there was strong voice from the non-executive side who said ‘No’ during voice voting, which convinced Speaker Butala to rule in their favour.

Butala said under the Standing Order 47 in the Provincial Government Act 1997, he has no power to do anything about it.

He had sought advice from the Attorney General Office in Honiara and the counsel advised him that the Minister of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening has the power to make any decision on the issue

Apart from that, the actual budget session is scheduled to take place in March.

The four years term of the Malaita Provincial Assembly (MPA) members die a natural death in June.

However, it is still not sure if the term is going to be extended after the National Government has extended their term in office until January 2024.

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