Posted by : Posted on : 30-Jan-2019

Audit report finds millions of dollars not accounted for in RCDF

Quoting the Island Sun newspaper – 30 January 2019

“AN audit report of Rural Constituency Development Fund found that millions of dollars have not been accounted for by the 50 constituencies from 2009 to 2012.

“It was found that $9 million was not accounted for by 18 constituencies from 2009 to 2011.

“The other 32 constituencies have not accounted $31 million from 2010 to 2012.

“Every year, the Republic of China donated $20 million to the 50 constituencies under the RCDF now known as RSCDF.

“The Members of Parliament also received other funding from ROC called Constituency Micro-Project Fund (RCMPF) with a total annual amount of SBD10 million; and Millennium Development Fund (MiDF) with a total amount of SBD20 million.

“The Auditor General Office obtained and reviewed relevant documents held by the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD).

“They also interviewed key officials from the Ministry, Constituency Development Officers (CDO), Constituency Project Officers (CPO), including the beneficiaries involved, villagers including chiefs, and the Constituency Development Committee in the village where one existed.
Project verification at the project site was undertaken and photographs taken as evidence.

“Draft reports were sent to all key stakeholders and their comments were taken into account in the final version of the report.

“The first 18 constituencies audited for 2009 to 2011 RCDF funding were North East Guadalcanal, North West Guadalcanal, West Honiara, Central Honiara, East Honiara, Small Malaita, Aoke Langalanga, Lau and Baelelea, East Are Are, Gizo Kolombangara, South Vella, Marovo, South New Georgia, Gao Bugotu, Hograno Kia Havulei, Ngella and Rennell Bellona.

“For the first 18 constituencies which were all entitled to a total of SBD 6,060,000 over the three years 2009 to 2011.

“Of the total possible claim of SBD 109,080,000 only payment vouchers relating to SBD 62,730,000 were sighted during the audit; 57.5 percent of the possible total,” the report said.

“It said “Of the SBD 62,730,000; only acquittals valued at SBD 53,474,417 (85 percent) were sighted at the ministry.

“Thus, SBD 9,265,583 was not accounted for,” it said.

“The other 32 constituencies are North Guadalcanal, South Guadalcanal, Central Guadalcanal, East Central Guadalcanal, East Guadalcanal, West Guadalcanal, South Choiseul, East Choiseul, North West Choiseul, Temotu Nende, Temotu Pele, Temotu Vatu, Central Makira, East Makira, West Makira, Ulawa and Ugi, North Malaita, Malaita Outer Islands, East Kwaio, West Kwaio, Central Kwara’are, West Kwara’are, Baegu Asifola, West Are’Are, Fataleka, North New Georgia, West New Georgia & Vonavona, Rannogga and Simbo, North Vella La Vella, Maringe Kokota, Shortland Islands and Mono and Savo and the Russell.

“These were entitled to SBD 6,960,000 over the three years 2010 to 2012.

“Of the total possible claim of SBD 222,720,000 only SBD 164,500,000 worth of payment vouchers were sighted by audit; 73 percent of the possible total,” it said.

“The report found “Of the SBD 164,500,000; only SBD 142,624,408 (86 percent) of acquittals were found.
“Thus, SBD 21,875,591 was not accounted for.

“Thus, in total, some SBD 31,141,174 of public funds was unaccounted for over the audit period,” it said.

“OAG said the section records all the major problems identified during the audit process.

“It said obviously, not every problem was recorded in every constituency but many were widespread across the country.

“However, all need to be addressed to ensure equitable accountability and governance throughout the nation.

“The solutions to these problems should be included in the Guidelines for the use of RCDF funding and, in due course, supported by primary legislation,” it said.

“OAG said the lack of accountability of public funds on this scale is not an acceptable situation.

Copyright @ 2019, Island Sun newspaper.

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