Could suppliers be holding on to constituency machines and equipment?
Quoting an article in the Island Sun newspaper - 7 February 2019
“IT has emerged that road equipment and machines bought for Constituencies under the National Transport Fund have yet to be delivered to the Constituencies.
“Some were bought as far back as 2015, but none has been delivered to the Constituencies that own them.
“They could be just about anywhere. They are either with suppliers or stored away from the public,” an individual who is familiar with the purchases told Island Sun this week.
“The machines were bought for Members of Parliament in the last House under the Constituency Equipment Scheme (CES), a scheme set up by the last Government.
An investigation by the Island Sun newspaper has found, among other things, payments were made to suppliers, but these suppliers have not delivered these machines and equipment to the Constituencies.
“A classic example is the East Areare Constituency, which reportedly paid $1.5 million in 2015 to Pacific Exporter Alliance to supply equipment such as those pictured.
“In 2017, a further payment of $3.5 million was reportedly made to the same company.
“But to date none of the equipment was delivered to the Constituency. Island Sun has obtained a photograph of some of the machines which appeared in the East Areare facebook web site last October.
“East Kwaio Constituency appears to be in the same boat, despite payments which were released to the supplier last September.
“Observers say this situation is going to create problems for new Members of Parliament after the election.
“Former MPs are certain to stake claims over the equipment as if it is their own. In some cases, they might have sold off the equipment to the suppliers,” one observer said.
“There is also the possibility that because former MPs had close business relationship with suppliers, they may have mortgaged the equipment to pay for their election costs with the assurance to inject additional funds once they have come through in the election,” the observer said.
The observer said police should move in now to collect and keep the machines and equipment in a holding yard until after the election.
“After all, these machines have already been paid for by Solomon Islands’ taxpayers. They do not belong to former MPs.”
Copyright @ 2019, Island Sun newspaper.