Opposition queries Manaoba Airport Project Audit Report
‘Urges MCA to set up investigative Commission of Inquiry’
THE progress of the audit report of Manaoba Airport as stated by the Minister of Communication and Aviation (MCA)in Parliament’s last few sitting days is a matter for the Office of the Auditor General to deal with.
This was exclusively confirmed to Island Sun yesterday by the Permanent Secretary of the MCA, Moses Virivolomo.
“MCA has done its part by facilitating the audits and it was the Office of the Auditor General Office who carried out the audits and would know what stage the audits are at,” said Virivolomo.
The PS made the statement in response to the call for the Minister of Communication and Aviation to inform the nation on the progress of auditing the Manaoba Airport Project.
The Official Statement was made by the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition and sent to the media yesterday.
“The Opposition Group reiterated its call following requests made by the Opposition earlier this year for the Prime Minister’s Office and the Aviation Ministry to intervene and seriously pursue the matter.
In a statement yesterday, the Opposition said millions of dollars paid out to parties associated to Manaoba airstrip have been appropriated for by Parliament, therefore, questions such as who and how much individuals or parties have received are important issues pertinent to the principles of transparency and accountability.
The Opposition Group stated that they are aware that in 2015 the Aviation Permanent Secretary disclosed to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the Government had expended about $SBD60M worth of development – more than what was spent on the Munda International airport project which only costed around $SBD40M.
“That is why it is important that the Aviation Minister inform us how far the auditing has progressed because money expended on the airstrip are public funds and it must be properly accounted for,” it said.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Office have also reiterated its call for the Aviation Minister to take a tough stand and set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the millions of unaccounted funds relating to payments paid to parties involved with the project.
“The Minister earlier this year had revealed that the files that have the records of the payments to parties of the airstrip project have gone missing. Therefore, the Minister must take a tough stand and show he is serious in getting to the bottom of the matter by setting up an inquiry as soon as possible,” it said.
The Opposition urged the Minister to pursue this matter to the end and to leave no stones unturned.
The Office of the Auditor General has been urged to respond to the call made by the Official Opposition Group.