The Solomon Star newspaper report alleging Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is willing to settle $134 million border allowances is erroneous.
Whilst the government is willing to settle this outstanding matter, it is important for the public to note that necessary legal and administrative assessments should be conducted by the relevant Ministry before any recommendations are put forward to the government for decision making.
We wish to clarify that the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is not the appropriate Ministry dealing with the outstanding border allowances. This matter falls under the ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services (MPNSCS)
There was no discussion on the amount of money. Rather the discussion centred around the fact that once the final lists are verified by the RSIPF, only then will a discussion be held on the legal basis for such funding and the amount of funding to be considered noting that some officers had already received the maximum amount payable under such deployments. Any Cabinet paper can only be submitted by the relevant minister, in this case, the Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services when it is agreed that additional payments should be made for the consideration of the Cabinet.
The government acknowledges that successive governments over the past 20 years have not brought this mater to conclusion. However, it is important that any solution is based on thorough analysis and having a legal basis upon which the settlement in whatever form is based on. The relevant ministry will continue working on this issue to seek a lasting solution.
Finally, there is no financial crisis as claimed by the newspaper (Solomon Star newspaper). The government is focused on restoring our economy after the COVID- 19 pandemic and the November riot of 2021. The government is on track in this regard, while it aims to deliver its two important policies- hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games and eventuating the National General Election come 2024.