Commission Of Inquiry Report Into Vanuatu Provident Fund Mismangement Finished

Development Committee of Officials to review, amend report prior to release

By Jane Joshua

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 11, 2017) – The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report into the alleged mismanagement, illegal and improper conduct of the past and present staff of the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) has been presented to the Development Committee of Officials (DCO).

This has been confirmed by the Acting Director General in the Ministry of Justice, Pacco Siri.

“The VNPF CoI report has not reach the Council of Ministers, at this stage,” Acting DG Siri told Vanuatu Nightly News’ Kizzy Kalsakau.

“It has been presented at the DCO, however the DCO wanted us to work on some amendments.

“After these, I will table it at the DCO on Tuesday next week.”

He said the amendments include the provision to work on the recommendations in the CoI, in relation to the misappropriations in VNPF.

When questioned, Mr. Siri said the recommendations as presented in the VNPF CoI report, remain unchanged.

The VNPF CoI report was handed to Minister of Justice, Ronald Warsal and Minister Jean Pierre Nirua, in his capacity as Acting Minister of Finance on February 14 this year.

When questioned over the delay behind advancing the report to the Council of Ministers (CoM), the Acting DG said there is no delay, just the timing with the other responsibilities and work of the Ministry of Justice.

Acting DG Siri was also asked as to when the report will reach the CoM and when they can act on the recommendations.

“It depends, once I present it at the DCO, it will be considered in the next CoM,” he said.

“We are now in May, it should reach the CoM by June.”

One of the recommendations in the VNPF CoI is the termination of the VNPF Board and that no existing or former Board member or General Manager (GM) be involved in the ongoing operation of the VNPF in any capacity.

The CoI reviewed 16 cases, three procurements and three failed investment cases in the Fund.

During the handover of the VNPF CoI report, the Commission had indicated its wish to see transparency maintained and recommended for:

  1. The Report of the Commission of Inquiry to be made public through publication on PacLII, the Ministry of Justice website or another easily accessible website.
  2. Audio recordings of public hearings in December to be published alongside the Report.

The exhausted question from VNPF members is: “When will copies of the VNPF CoI report, be made available to us, as promised?”

Vanuatu Daily Post
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