The Oversight and Implementation Committee of the Economic Stimulus Package is yet to receive a formal letter from the Member of Parliament for East Are’are, Malaita Province, Hon. Peter Kenilorea Junior confirming the return of the 600- Thousand Economic Stimulus Package for his constituency, as was widely orated.
In its response on the statement today (03rd Sept), the Oversight and the Implementing Committee (OIC) of the Economic Stimulus Package, confirmed, to date, “there is no formal letter from the Member of Parliament for East Are’are as reported throughout the local media, to return the constituency funding support under the Economic Stimulus Package.”
The statement said, the Committee welcomes and acknowledges the decision by the Member of Parliament for East Areare to reverse his earlier decision to accept the offer.
“The Committee cannot make further comments as the formal letter is yet to be received. But since the matter was reported widely in the media, which also contains major misrepresentation of the Policy, the committee wishes to make the following clarifications on the policy’s objectives,” the statement elucidates.
- Firstly, the support to constituencies under the program is not mandatory to all constituencies. There are some constituencies who decided that the support be managed directly by the OIC. The OIC wishes to make this matter clear that through a standard letter of offer on 10th July, 2020, the Committee conveyed an option to all constituencies on whether or not to accept the offer. This approach was taken based on the Government policy as there are some investments within our constituencies that each Members of Parliament wish to directly support. Therefore, the same privilege and process was given to the member of East Are’are. The Honorable Member for East Areáre confirmed his acceptance of the offer and signed the letter. This triggered the disbursement of the funds to the East Areare Constituency. The Committee also wish to confirm that out of the 46 Constituencies applications, the East Are’are submission is superlative and well-articulated on how the support will be invested into the constituency. The Committee now regrets, the well-prepared plans will not eventuate as it will now come under the prerogative of the Committee to assess and appropriate the purported allocation to the relevant recipients.
- Secondly, on the assumption that the Parliament is yet to approve the appropriation and spending of the funds, the ball is in the Honorable MP’s courtyard to interpret our relevant laws and take it to where he wishes to resolve.
- Thirdly, it is important to note that awareness and consultation pertaining to this policy was done with all the Constitution Development Officers (CDOs), which also include the CDOs of East Areare. It is difficult and costly though to visit all constituencies as well as to directly engage with all the respective members of Parliament, therefore, CDOs were consulted by the Committee and it is the responsibility of the CDOs to work closely with their respective constituencies.
- Finally, the Committee calls on the Member of Parliament for East Are’are to immediately make necessary arrangements with the Committee to transfer the funds back to the Government.