MISSING HCC HILUX

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    Disgraced former clerk, Sore, spills beans on alleged misconduct by current mayor

    BY CHARLES KADAMANA

    A VEHICLE worth $274,000 that auditors were unable to locate during a special auditor of the City Council in 2020 has been privately used and kept by city mayor Eddie Siapu.

    That’s according to the sacked city clerk Rence Sore in a report he submitted to various government authorities before he was kicked out from the job.

    At the time the audit was undertaken, Siapu, the councilor for Rove/Lengakiki who was elected last month to the mayor’s position, was part of the city council executive under the leadership of Wilson Mamae.

    The special audit, undertaken by the Office of the Auditor General, was initiated after the media exposed cases of alleged corruption and mismanagement within the council.

    The audit found that in 2020, the council spent $1.6 million on six vehicles.

    But further checks found that only five vehicles were in the possession of the council.

    The sixth, a hilux worth $274,000, could not be located.

    In his report, the disgraced Sore revealed Siapu kept that missing sixth vehicle and was using it as his private property.

    Island Sun is seeking explanations from Siapu, who got the top job after Mamae was deposed in a vote of no confidence in March this year.

    Sore said conflict of interest was evidently exposed in the procurement of motor vehicles by the audit.

    However, he said despite the exposure, mitigation measures to minimise occurrence of conflict of interest was not assessed.

    “Needless to say that procurement and custody of the missing vehicle was not referred to the appropriate authorities for further investigation and appropriate action.

    “The missing vehicle is being privately used by Siapu,” Sore, who was sacked for alleged failure to properly manage the council, stated.

    He said because of Siapu’s action, the council was handicapped to conduct conducive management of its affairs.

    He added the non-availability of suitable vehicles would deny enhancement of efficient delivery of services in the city.

    * More stories on the Sore Report in tomorrow’s paper


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