Vanuatu Government Investigating Allegations Of Mismanagement At Port Vila Municipal Council

PVMC accused of maladministration, misappropriation funds

By Thompson Marango

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, April 28, 2017) – The Minister of Internal Affairs, Alfred Maoh has appointed an investigation team to inquire into allegations of maladministration and misappropriation funds, assets and resources of in the Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC).

Acting Minister of Internal Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu informed that the inquiry has been prompted by a petition signed by nine Councilors of the PVMC, which was submitted to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Alfred Maoh, on 8th of February this year.

A team of three investigators-Anthea Arukole, Geormy Takau, and Collin Small were appointed on April 13 by Minister Maoh.

“The petition alleged and detailed numerous counts of maladministration and misappropriation of funds, assets and resources of the Council, and requested the Minister to ask the Lord Mayor to voluntarily resign,” Minister Regenvanu stated.

“The inquiry will necessarily also be looking into deficiencies that may have arisen in the function of the Department of Local Authorities to oversee the management of the Municipal Council.”

The report of the investigation team are expected to submit their report on the 30th of April but have requested an additional two weeks to complete the task given the absence from the Department of Local Authorities of many key staff who are now holding Acting positions as the CEO of Provinces and Municipalities.

The objective investigation is to inquire into and ascertain whether the management of the Council has been carried out in accordance with the:

“(a) Municipality Council’s Financial Regulation; and

“(b) Municipality Council’s Financial Regulation; and

“(c) Decentralization Act [CAP 230]; and

“(d) any other relevant Acts.”

According to the instrument of appointment of the investigator, “the inquiry is to be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Municipality Act [CAP 126] and the relevant standards of accounting, and will include tests and controls as the inquires considers necessary under the circumstances”.

The inquiry will be made to about the “100 days and 200 days target plans and with additional target plan called “Existing Plan”.

“The Central Market consciously on its appropriation funds, prospect procedures and structure.

“The recommendation report done by a consultation on the review of existing new By Laws, that includes the endorsements of the services and charge, and construction of new tariffs and levied taxes.

“Inquiry about: the information of the New Council structure, the processes and the procedures in the Ward Councils set up and Staff Manual and the resetting up and strengthening of Ward Council System procedures and processes.

“Inquiry into the application of the procurement and asset management process and about the processes and procedures of establishing contracts to the general public.

“Inquiry regarding the processes and procedures of issuing permits to the general public.”

Vanuatu Daily Post
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