AN audit into millions of dollars being disbursed for the construction of the Mana’oba airport in North Malaita has dragged on for a year now due to missing files and records.
Minister for Communication and Aviation (MCA) Peter Shanel revealed this in parliament when debating the the Solomon Islands National Anti Corruption Strategy Bill.
Shanel said since taking over the portfolio to look after the Ministry he had ordered an audit into how the funds for the construction of the airport have been utilised.
He could not reveal how much had been spent on the project.
The Minister said the Ministry has failed its responsibility to keep records and to provide information sought by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) to help with the audit.
“The ministry lacked the records and fail their responsibility to be accountable for millions of dollars spent on Mana’oba airport.
“This problem has taken nearly a year now to audit the funds spent on that airfield.
“That effort to search and locate the files and records of funds used for Mana’oba airport were all missing, thus difficult for the auditors to help out in the move to audit the funds spent on the airport.”
Parliament also heard that this problem of corruption is ripe in the ministry of aviation.
Therefore he will brief the Prime Minister (PM) soon on what has happened, since police has reminded him of what the Ministry fails to do.
The Minister further added that even the audit report of the airspace is not properly done.
“I’m waiting for the report from the Chairman and the Permanent Secretary (PS) to be produced, before action will be taken.”
Shanel told Parliament that since he moved into the Ministry, he had witnessed all the corrupt dealings that has been happening there for many years.
He warned officers that disciplinary measures through termination is like to be taken on corrupt officials.
“This is because transferring of corrupt officers to another office will not stop corruption as he or she will continue with that bad attitude in the other office.”
By AATAI JOHN