SOLOMONS MINISTER GIVES FURNITURE TO PAL

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Owner of Honiara hotel gets tables, chairs, and a refrigerator,

By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 16, 2008) – A former government minister’s decision to hand the majority of conference assets to an individual was inappropriate, an audit report said.

The Auditor General’s report was referring to the actions of former provincial government minister Japhet Waipora.

Mr Waipora reportedly handed over all assets used during the premiers’ conference in Renbel last year to the owner of Kia Koe Lodge.

Kia Koe was the venue for the conference. The assets included chairs, tables, fridge, a generator, carpets, and other building materials.

But the auditor report said these should be given to the Renbel Provincial Government. It said the assets were valued at $173,813.

"There were no written instructions from the Minister to the Ministry of Provincial Government to donate most of the assets to an individual," the report said.

It said the owner had received $95,000 tourism development funds to assist in the upgrading and expansion of his lodge.

However, the owner who was then a member of the Provincial Government Executive, also enjoyed the benefit of a gift of assets totaling $173,813.

"This could have been given to the Provincial Government for the benefit of the wider Provincial population instead of just one person in the Province," the report said.

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

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