By Alfred Sasako
WHEN the Government introduced the ‘Preferred Supplier’ policy in 2016, no one ever thought one supplier would be raking in the lion share of the controversial Constituency Development Fund (CDF) grants controlled by Members of Parliament.
A special investigation by Island Sun found that one Chinese company, JQY Enterprises Ltd has picked up handsomely from government funding.
Figures obtained by Island Sun show the company, which sells vehicles, vehicle parts, Lucas mill and other hardware, clocked up more than $233 million between 2012 and September this year.
In 2012 for example, payments to JQY Enterprises Ltd were slightly more than just $1.6 million. The following year, however, payments to the company skyrocketed to more than $10. 4 million.
From then on, the increased payments simply continued skyward. The table below shows what was paid to JQY Enterprises Ltd each year from 2012 to September this year:
It is unclear whether these expenditures were incurred by all Members of Parliament.
JQY told Island Sun yesterday it sells vehicles, vehicle parts, and automobile oil products. A woman spoken to could not say whether Members of Parliament bought vehicles from the company as the boss was away overseas.
Meanwhile it has been revealed that much of the payments to a certain Constituency have gone into a private bank account of a Member of Parliament for the Malaita electorate.
“Only $8.9 million had gone into the Constituency Bank Account between 2012 and 2018,” according to one source.
The source said it could not be explained where the money allocated to the Constituency had gone for each of the seven years.
“There is one probable explanation. Records show payments in the millions had gone into the MP’s private bank account,” the source said.
These payments included about $303, 000 paid by Taiwan through the Office of the Prime Minister only last week.
“This money is intended for the Constituency but it somehow ended up in the MP’s private bank account,” the source said.
Figures released by the social media last week show that in 2012, each Constituency received $5.2 million. The following year CDF grants to each Constituency were $6 million – the same amount allocated in 2014.
In 2015, CDF grants increased to $6.6 million and in the following year, the grants were increased by $400, 000 to $7 million per Constituency, according to the figures published by the social media.
There was a slight decrease of $500, 000 in 2017. This year’s budget showed $350 million were allocated to fund CDF grants in all 50 Constituencies. This means that each Constituency will have received $7 million by the time Parliament winds up on 17th December this year.