. Ha’apai’s Governor Mo’ale Finau says the Ha’apai Development Fund was located in his office and he had a right to use it for development purposes
Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 19/09/2017
The Governor of Ha’apai, Mo’ale Finau said, the Ha’apai Development Committee Fund for 2016-17 was injected into the Governor’s budget.
This, he believes was the result of his personal request to the former Minister of Finance, Dr. ‘Aisake 8 Eke when he complaint about his dissatisfaction with the allocation of the development fund for Ha’apai.
The Governor said when he became the governor of Ha’apai, the first two financial years, 2014-16 he requested the Chairman of the Ha’apai development committee for a share as Governor for various development projects.
His request was declined and as a result the fund was divided equally among the two people’s representatives of Ha’apai.
However, he hasn’t seen much evidence of their spending on the development of Ha’apai with the funds they were given.
Mo’ale said their objective was just to see that the development activities in Ha’apai are running smoothly.
The conclusion made by the auditor Gneral’s report on the way the community development operation funds for Ha’apai was spend, was that the governor was not appropriated to spend.
The responsibilities for administering the fund and authority to decide on what the fund should be spent may not be documented but confirmation from the governor assured that the fund was not intended for his office.
Therefore the responsibilities for administering the fund and to authorize activity to cover from this allocation should not have been with the Governor of Ha’apai and his office.
The hard work the governor and people in Ha’apai carried out as part of the development activities for Ha’apai was fine, but they should have followed proper government procedure first.
It was also recommended by the Auditor that the governor’s office should have liaised with the Ha’apai development committee for the way the fund was utilized.
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