SOLOMONS PARLIAMENT ENJOYS MYSTERY WINDFALL

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$534,000 was added to budget without oversight

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 12, 2009) – Ministry of Finance has allocated an extra SB$4 million [US$534,000] to the National Parliament under the 2009 Supplementary Appropriation Bill, it was revealed.

This was done without the consent of the National Parliament.

National Parliament has only requested SB$2.7-million [US$361, 000] to meet the repair of the complex, the organisation and administration, plant replacement and parliamentary session and committee expenditure.

However, Clerk to Parliament Taeasi Sanga was surprised to see $6.7-million on the supplementary budget when she appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week.

She said the last two items might be put in by the Budget Unit in the finance ministry.

According to the Bill report, the $4-million will cover the increase in the Members of Parliament allowances and their micro-Projects.

Opposition Leader, Manasseh Sogavare has pointed out the issue during the PAC but his colleagues did not want further deliberation.

During the committee of supply of the Bill yesterday, the MPs did not even raise the matter regarding the extra entitlements.

The Bill just went smoothly and passed together by the members of parliament.

When Solomon Star contacted the Ministry of Finance Budget Unit, a female officer said she couldn’t comment because their bosses were out.

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