SINCE the Stimulus Package awareness team consists of officers in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Members of Parliament (MPs), who will keep a check and balance of how the funds are disbursed, distributed and whether or not transparency and accountability issues are satisfied?
This concern was raised by Malaita Provincial Premier Daniel Suidani in light of the PMO officials and a number of MPs involvements in the stimulus package awareness, which is currently underway in Malaita Province.
The premier said it is funny when the government of the day decided to do away with its existing line ministries and carry on the stimulus package awareness on its own.
The outspoken Malaita Premier said Solomon Islanders are involved mainly in fisheries, agriculture, tourism, and commerce which are being affected by COVID-19.
“These sectors have been allocated with responsible ministries, with qualified expatriates that are capable of doing a better job if engaged by the government of the day, he said.
“The national government’s decision to do away with the ministries is an indication that something is missing and perhaps PMO is messing up things in this regard.
“Now that we have PMO and MPs involved in the stimulus package awareness, which duly constituted body will provide oversight and check and balance responsibilities to ensure things happen accordingly in a fair and corrupt-free manner?” Suidani questioned.
“I think something is not right in this arrangement.
“All I see is politics, the PMO and MPs who are involved in the stimulus package awareness want to score political points and earn some quick cash by involving in the awareness.
“What is the reason for having seconded staff in the provinces, I think these seconded staff would do a great job should they be given the opportunity to carry out the task, and I think involving the seconded staff will be a much cheaper exercise,” he said.
The premier said the decision to involve PMO and MPs caught the line ministries by surprise and also the provincial government.
Asked if the national government informed the MARA government of the awareness, Suidani responded saying the awareness program seems to be a sideline program that is only known to the MPs and PMO officials involved.
The awareness team led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Malaita MPs under the DCGA government did not pay a courtesy visit to the premier’s office, an action caught many Malaitans by surprise, the premier said.
By WILSON SAENI