THE Renbel non-executive bench has maintained the legality of the budget that was passed by the executive in Tigoa, last Saturday, needs to be tested.
The executive passed the Rennell and Bellona Appropriation Ordinance 2015-2016 without non-executive members bypassing the Public Accounts Committee.
The budget, which is about $5 million, is by far the province’s biggest budget compared to past years.
Non-executive member, Kusol Tepuke, said the executive has “hijacked” the budget.
Mr Tepuke said the executive has bypassed PAC- a legal system required under the Provincial Government Act and the Province’s revised Standing Orders.
He rejected reports non-executive members refused to attend the meeting in protest of their demands.
Mr Tepuke said Premier Collin Singamoana’s on-going none attendance to their requests for the release of their ward grants, despite promises, prompted the non-executive bench to bring forward an earlier demand before the executive.
He said both demands are yet to be sorted out and this is affecting them and their wards.
“We are being treated unfairly by the executive for reasons known only to them. In fact, we help enabled the executive to pass its three ordinances. At the end, we were still not given anything,” Mr Tepuke said.
He said arrangements made leading up to the assembly meeting were an issue behind their failure to turn up.
Mr Tepuke said they were not provided with draft copies of the budget for their own preparations, no meetings or discussions were held leading up to the meeting week and their air tickets were delivered to them via mobile phone (serial number) a day before the meeting open.
The MPA for ward 10 said it was obvious, there were no proper arrangements done.
Mr Tepuke said they believe the Premier was ill-advised or has not come through induction to clear his mind when dealing with provincial government issues.
He appealed to the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) to properly re-look at the budget that has bypassed the PAC yet got passed as it might set a bad precedent into the future.
Mr Tepuke said other provinces that experience duress when trying to get their budget before their PAC would now take on the approach applied by the Renbel executive.
He said the precedent set is a slap to bigger provinces that strives to ensure proper processes are followed.
Premier Singamoana claimed what they did was done according to the Act.
But Mr Tepuke said the Premier’s statement needs to be proven.
The MPGIS has endorsed the budget but concerns over the passage of the budget will remain.
A number of observers are questioning why the MPGIS has proceeded and sign the budget with no recommendations as well question how procedural it is for the MPGIS Minister to approve the budget without PAC.