RIPEL pitfalls - Solomon Star News

RIPEL pitfalls

03 October 2018
Cabinet Sub Committee RIPEL Hired Assessor Walter Malau speaking to the Russells House of Chiefs and Landowners representative last week in Honiara.

AN assessment of the Russell Islands Plantation Estates Limited (RIPEL) issue has uncovered serious pitfalls.

Cabinet Sub Committee RIPEL Assessor and an accountant by profession, Walter Malau, revealed this to the House of Chiefs, leaders, and representatives of the Russell Islands last week in Honiara.

Mr Malau was hired by the Cabinet Sub Committee on RIPEL to do a detail assessment on the RIPEL Claims and Repatriation costs for 60 days, which ended a few days ago.

This relates to, for example, the RIPEL accounting records and financial statements.

“The fact that they were not accessed meant that few areas in the report could be questioned,” Mr Malau said.

He further explained that this also applies to other limitations like lack of existing in-house literature.

Another important fact is that Solomon Islands National Provident Fund data was not reconciled and most importantly the Unions has not responded positively during the period of his assessment work.

“How can the national government implement such report when we have such limitations?” Mr Malau questioned.

He feared that time is running out as far as his work is concerned and he will talk to the national government about this matter.

“The Caucus will have a brief on the snap of the draft around this week and hopefully tomorrow.

“The cabinet is likely to have the brief of the same next week. When the Cabinet decides, then decisions such as implementation can commence,” Mr Malau told Solomon Star.

RIPEL was once the biggest coconut plantation company in the country.

But it closed down in 2004 due to an industrial dispute.

While successive governments attempted to revive the operation, it has to date unsuccessful.