Governor of Ha’apai spent HDC fund he was not appropriated to spend
Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 15/09/2017
The audit report on the community development operation funds for Ha’apai, 2016-17 has concluded the fund was utilized by the Governor of Ha’apai and his office without liaising with the Ha’apai Development Committee.
The chairman of the Ha’apai development Committee, had asked the Speaker of parliament to have the funds audited as the committee believed that the fund has been misused in the context that the committee did not authorize the expenses incurred that were paid from the fund.
In its findings the Auditor General said the governor of Ha’apai had direct access to the fund as it had a Ha’apai location.
However, the fund was not appropriated for his and his office’s use.
From this work, non-compliance with government rules and regulations was identified for the government’s office.
This included non-compliance with procurement regulation, non-compliance with PSC regulation 2010 ( amended), labor work was not approved before work commenced, labor rates not in accordance with government policy and close family business was engaged to do the construction work.
The 150,000 pa’anga development fund was allocated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. However MIA did not confirm who they intended the fund for at the time of budget preparation as there was no proper documentation of this role during audit work.
He also noted that the HDC budget allocation for 2017-18 still has a Ha’apai location, consequently, he can still access this fund.
The governor is being advised by the Auditor General to refrain from repeating this practice.
Auditor also recommended that the HDC work closely with MIA’s CEO in sourcing fund to cater for activities of HDC that were planned to fund from the allocation in 2016-17.
© Radio and Television Tonga News