Council must clean up its backyard - Solomon Star News

Council must clean up its backyard

13 May 2015

SOMETHING is not right within the Honiara City Council.

And it needs to be fixed. Urgently!

Our front page story today rigs of the corruption that has permeated our government system over the years.

When mayor Alfrence Fatai came into the council late last year, he reportedly uncovered corruption in the way contracts have been awarded.

His response and that of his executive was to cancel the contracts and gave the jobs to their friends and relatives.

For instance, Mr Fatai gave the job of renovating the mayor’s official residence to his relatives.

His reason for doing this is because he has valuables in the house and he wanted his relatives to look after his things while doing the renovation at the same time.

Unfortunately, by picking his relatives to do the job without publicly tendering the job, Mr Fatai was simply engaging in the dishonesty he was trying to stop at the Works Division.

It is simply wrong for the mayor or any of his council chairmen to do that.

If they found out the officers in the council’s Works Division are fraudulently awarding contracts to themselves, the right thing to do is cancel the contracts and put a stop to it.

But they were simply perpetuating the purported corruption that they tried to stop by awarding the contracts to their friends and relatives.

Mr Fatai and his councillors need to be reminded that they cannot right a wrong with a wrong.

What they should do in such situation is to put the contracts on public tender and allow a transparent and accountable process to take place.

There’s no doubt as a result of the hostility between the Works Division and the councillors, the cordial working relationship expected between these parties are no longer there.

An environment of hostility and distrust now exists between these two parties. They are no longer going to work as a team to serve the public interest.

This is detrimental for the council and at the end of the day, it is the very people that the council exists to serve that are going to suffer.

Mr Fatai needs to sort this issue out between his councillors and their Works Division to ensure a better working relationship within the council.

For they cannot operate in isolation of each other.

It is service delivery that is going to be affected if the working relationship within the council is entangled in animosity.