Monday, 22 April 2013 8:50 AM

Government Accused of Allocating Money for RCDF Shortfalls

Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) has accused the Government of behaving irresponsibly with its budget.

TSI says the government has diverted close to $US2.7 million from the budget to pay for a black-hole in its Rural Constituency Development Fund, RCDF.

The funding comes from Taiwan, but recently access to some of the money in the fund was frozen because 17 Solomon Islands MPs could not account for how they were spending the funds allocated to them.

TSI Executive Officer Daniel Fenua says the government has sucked millions of dollars from other areas to fill the hole.

"What the government does is not right," he says.

"How can you possibly take money out of the government budget and give it to somebody who is yet to submit their acquittals.

"This is not a good way, it is not a transparent way of doing things."

Mr Fenua says it is unclear where in the budget the money has come from.
He is calling on the Auditor-General to make the MPs file their outstanding accounts.

"We'll follow up on that and with Taiwan too, to make sure they file the acquittals they have to give," he said.

The Rural Development Fund has long been a source of problems for successive governments in the country.

Many Solomon Islanders listed it as the most corrupt aspect of the government in the lead-up to the last election.

Commentators say that it is encouraging to see Taiwan putting its foot down with funding it provides.

Others are saying that the 17 MPs should be named to ensure that those MPs who have provided acquittals to Taiwan do not fall under undue public criticisms.

 

With ABC News

 

 

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province
By JAQUE FRIEDMAN New Zealand