Members of Parliament debate Audit report in last sitting

The final fono of the Assembly heard from the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee Maureen Melekitama.

Public accounts committee reported that the issues raised by the Audit reports are not new but the Committee is concerned that the issues haven’t been addressed by the respective departments. 

However Hon. Terry Coe said the report from PAC is ‘slack and uninteresting’ because it didn’t address the problem that has been going on for many years and the Committee is not tackling the problems. 

Common Roll Member Hon. O’love Jacobsen was critical of the report saying that the government had been allowed to breach the laws for many years. She went on to blame the Fono Ekepule for being complicit in the outcome of the audit findings, that the Assembly didn’t do it’s work to monitor the government and how it spends the country’s money. 

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Some new information from the PAC report identified funding from the $7 million supplementary budget passed at the last meeting. For instance, $100,000 is allocated to help build bathroom and toilet facilities for the homes of those over 70 years old. 

For food security $550,000 is allocated to ensure consistent supply of goods to the island. To ensure there is sufficient supply of goods in stores to last more than 3 months. 

The key recommendation of the PAC is that the 2020 Covid 19 budget of $7 million be managed by the Treasury department consistent with the requirements of the Constitution and not to be managed by the Niue Development Bank as proposed for some part of the funds.

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