TSI commends police operation to track down corrupt MPs

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TRANSPARENCY Solomon Islands commends the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force [RSIPF] for the work they do in following the money trail to tracking down the Member of Parliament for Savo/Russell who has now been charged for conversion of the shipping grant.

This is a clear-cut case of abuse and misuse of public funds outside its intended use. No more impunity for anyone in position of power who abuses that power.

Latest revelation this week was member of Parliament for Savo Russell Constituency Dickson Mua was arrested for alleged conversion of a $3million shipping grant in 2013.

Here we share the findings of the Auditor General:

Table 1.1: National Shipping Grant Budgets 2013 – 2015

2013 2014 2015
Budget Actual Budget Actual Budget Actual
21.7 million 21.6 million 12million 6million 30million 28.2million

 

“There were no written policies or guidelines in place for the years 2013 and 2014 governing the expenditure of $27.6 million on the shipping grants.

“A policy and guidelines were put in place to govern the expenditure of $28.2 million on shipping grants in 2015;

“A total of $26.3 million dollars was provided to grant recipients for which vessel is yet to be purchased.

“This has resulted in no vessel registered and this indicates a high risk that the monies have been obtained but was not used for its planned purpose;

“A total of $70.3M over a period of only 3 years of tax payers’ money was allocated for this programme for vessel purchases, vessel maintenance and local boat building.

“Considering the amount of funds provided under the program it is the view of this Office that it is in the public interest to determine what was actually achieved and if the program has been worth the money;

“2013-2015 Vessel purchased and registered: $19.1M

“2013-2015 Vessel not purchased, registered and missing documentation: $26.3M

end of quote

Transparency Solomon Islands lauds RSIPF National Criminal Investigation Department and encourages them to continue the good work.

The public is behind you.

TSI says the arrest is a step in the right direction to combat corruption at the top public officials and political level and no more impunity for the misuse and abuse of public funds and entrusted power of the people and tax-payers of Solomon Islands.

Whilst TSI welcomes police operation to track down corrupt politician, it urges too, investigation on alleged abuse and misuse of the Constituency Development Funds for their own benefit.

Track down where the money belonging to the people has gone.

The arrest and charged of Dickson Mua must send a clear warning to parliamentarians to stop dipping their hands into public funds and use it for their own benefit.

TSI calls on anti-corruption task force JANUS with the law enforcers to continue tracking down public officers abusing and misusing public funds for own personal benefit.

“Now, a MP has been charged over the abuse of Shipping Grant, when will this investigation look into other MPs use of CDF”, TSI questions.

Investigation must start now and TSI stands by its call for the removal of s6 of the Anti- Corruption Act 2018 as well as its speedy enforcement.

This case calls on the government to put together the accompanying regulations for the Anti-Corruption Act 2018 and set the date for its enforcement.

Measuring the level of the alleged abuse and misuse of entrusted power for self-gain, calls on the government to enforce the Anti- Corruption Act 2018 now.