LAURU Shipping Limited a business arm of the Choiseul Provincial government has failed over the years to disclose any financial statement which is worrying, says the Deputy Premier Derald Galo.
He revealed that Lauru Shipping never disclose any financial statement since the past ruling government of former Premier Jackson Kiloe.
“This matter has been neglected and remained unattended to address thus brought forward as burdensome to our newly elected government of Choiseul Province,” argued Galo.
However, he said they have to shoulder this challenge seriously as a responsible government for their people and in this way currently worked on measures to address this issue.
He revealed that a six men taskforce was established and informed to inquire into the Lauru Shipping Limited affairs and anytime from now they will be issued their official letter of appointment including their terms of reference for the assignment.
“In this regard the taskforce committee after completing their assignment shall report to the Provincial Assembly on their findings and recommendations where our people can be informed through our respective MPA’s for and on behalf of our people whom we represent in the Choiseul Provincial Assembly,” Galo explained.
He said the unreported financial statements of Lauru Shipping Limited to the Choiseul Provincial Government since financial year period ending 31st December 2014/2015, financial year 2015/2016, financial year period 2016/2017, financial year period 2017/2018 remained a “mystery” to the Provincial Assembly and the people of Choiseul.
“A deplorable situation where our rural people represented through our members of Provincial Assembly (MPA’s) continued to be denied our right on such financial information concerning Lauru Shipping,” he expressed.
He said at the moment only MV Nuatabu which was bought under a Shipping grant allocation of East Choiseul Constituency served the province while the other two vessels MV Lauru and MV San Marcos remained idle floating rusting away for almost a year now.
He explained that it is a breach of the Provincial Enterprise Ordinance (2011) that specifies in section 9 sub-section 1 and 2; “……..the requirement that the business arm of the Province must provide the full set of financial accounts and other audit reports and statements for its annual reporting”.
“When no financial statement is provided by the Controlled Entity (Lauru Shipping Limited) to the Reporting Entity (Choiseul Provincial Assembly) it affected consolidation of the Provincial Statement of cash transaction on receipts and payments,” he pointed out.
He warned that status of Lauru Shipping Limited affected Choiseul Provinces minimum condition for qualifying Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) based on Performances assessment set by the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS).
“Non-consolidated financial statement of Lauru Shipping Limited to the Provincial Financial Statements negatively affected us. PCDF opportunity cost analysis to Choiseul Provincial Government of maintaining Lauru Shipping Limited as a body corporate affected reduction on our PCDF financial year allocation,” he revealed.
He said Lauru Shipping has three shipping vessels that serves our province and parts of Western Province. The other two ships had mechanical problem unattended to for almost a year.
Stating that MV Lauru was purchased through Solomon Island Government Compensation Fund on PNG Border Intrusion, MV San Marcos was purchased through Tsunami reserved fund of Choiseul Provincial Government while MV Nuatabu was purchased through shipping grant allocation of East Choiseul Constituency.
“Thus, all three ships were purchased on somebody else taxpayers money and not on profit from the Controlled Entity (Lauru Shipping Limited),” he argued.
Adding that Lauru Shipping is a registered legal entity wears two regulatory hats however as a Controlled Entity it suppressed its financial statements to the reporting entity.
By AATAI J. LAUNGI