Tuesday, 12 May 2009 9:29 AM

Utilized Funds by Members of Parliament

Dear Editor,

I would be grateful if you could publish this article concerning the use of numerous funds allocated to Members of Parliament over the past years.

I read with interest the numerous calls by various writers to members of Parliament for respective constituencies across our Solomon Islands regarding the developmental use and actual acquittal and specification or break down of the numerous funds vested to members on behalf of our people. Isn't there a system in Government that the public can access written reports of activities of development preformed by members of Parliament with figures indicating funds issued and used?

Using funds intended for and rightfully owned by the public, members are duty bound to produce and share reports. If this isn't the situation then I'm not surprised why all this fuss is being made. Doesn't the public, or to be more specify respective populace from each constituency, have the right to know how and where our funds were spent, it seems ironic that the Sikua Government talks so much about accountability and transparency and yet there is this big gap. Perhaps the role and classification of Political parties is not the issue that needs an act of Parliament but use of funds allocated to members is in dear need an act? I stand to be corrected here, if one does exist, then let the public know, where are all these rights based organisations, NGOs and transparency what not's. This is where corruption is flourishing and what are you doing? Start getting public to protest or lobby for amendments to those acts.

Having travelled extensively across the Pacific I feel so sorry for our country, when we have most if not a lot of resources compared to our neighbors and yet in terms of development we are so far behind. Even some smaller Island States are doing better than us.

Solomon Islands history shows that when it comes to change in Government conduct, drastic changes and events have to occur in order for change to happen. Does this indicate that another riot has to occur? Or even more traumatic; physical abuse of a Member of Parliament? I think not! Our country just can't afford to have another turn of events. What do we have to do to get member performing if this isn't an option? Member seem to be immune from prosecution, is there still a leadership Commission?

This is an open call to Members of Parliament to start getting your act together, what poor performers in Governance terms. People are waiting to move this country forward and yet Government is the only barrier to advancement and development. So many policies coupled with regional and international treaties and conventions that our Government signs and doesn't have the capacity to include or fulfill these document. Stop all these signings and additional obligations and stock take where we're at, start small.

I would like to conclude that through the Sogovare Government seems pushy, straight forward and set on directives issued; at least they were holding people accountable for public funds and trying to put systems in place. Sadly the Moti Issue took precedence over other good intentions and developments. It is a known fact in public discussions and the infamous Coconut Nius that through Sogovare's hard stance on the use and disbursement of public funds that amounted to members crossing the floor and subsequently the down fall in Government.

Wat taem nao bae iumi gud?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Jay Brown and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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