$53k PAYMENT - Solomon Star News


03 March 2021
City Clerk, Rence Sore.

Sore: where's the evidence?


HONIARA City Mayor and City Clerk have asked if both Councillors Reginald Ngati and Billy Abae provide their evidence for the new revelation before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) about a $53,000 payment to the Clerk on Tuesday.

The new so-called revelation was revealed when both Councillors appeared before the PAC.

 “I was told by one of the HCC Finance Officer that HCC Clerk raised $53,000 for himself in late December 2020 for responding to the Special Investigation Audit Report,” Ngati claimed yesterday.

Ngati also revealed that the response to the Audit Report was never approved by the full council as the Councillors expected, but was done by the Clerk alone.

He also added that that the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs has knowledge about it but no action was taken.

“The officer sighted the paperwork for the $53,000.00 payment and texted the PS for Home Affairs as it looks fishy. However, nothing is being done.

“Therefore, I have no trust in the mother ministry (Home Affairs), and decided to spill it out to the PAC now,” Cr Ngati told the PAC yesterday.

But when this paper interviewed the HCC Mayor and the HCC Clerk Rence Sore after the PAC hearing on Tuesday he told this paper that he was so surprised.

“Can Ngati provide the evidence that I paid myself for writing these report, where? Why didn’t he give the evidence to the PAC.?

Sore however admitted that he wrote the report after consulting the Heads of Division with feedback from them.

“I just followed the process and as we all know the accountable officer to respond to this type of report is the City Clerk after getting feedback from the HODs. It’s just a normal process that any government Ministry could do,” he added.

Meanwhile, PAC member and Leader of the Opposition also asked Cr Ngati to provide the evidence for this new revelation.

The HCC Lord Mayor, Wilson Mamae said that they will appear before PAC on Thursday to clarify all the allegations against them. 

Newsroom Honiara