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Boyers To Opposition: Grill Darcy On Tsunami Funds

Boyers Asks Opposition To Grill Darcy On Tsunami Rehabilitation Funds

Finance Minister Peter Boyers today says the Opposition should seek answers from sacked finance minister Gordon Darcy Lilo to answer queries regarding funding arrangement for the post Tsunami rehabilitation process in Western and Choiseul provinces.

Mr Boyers was responding to Opposition criticisms against the government's recent announcement of a further SBD$15 million grant towards the post Tsunami rehabilitation process.

He said the $15 million dollar assistance was initially made under arrangements made by Lilo in consultation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

On October 11, Mr Lilo sought cabinet approval for disbursement of $15 million at the constituency level for shelter and sanitation rehabilitation.

Boyers said the recent announcement was a follow up on that arrangement and the government is now making adjustments to it to ensure it follows proper assessment reports and be more transparent.

"They (opposition) should not criticize the government because this is actually the former finance minister's initiative with ADB and he should be the one that should be questioned," he said.

"I think issues on that should be directed to Darcy who is in the opposition right now," he added.

Mr Boyers said the adjustments that are currently being made will follow the Red Cross Assessment Report on devastated areas - which Mr Lilo failed to follow when he submitted a cabinet paper on October 11 seeking cabinet approval for the disbursement of funds.

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"Infact the Red Cross Assessment was not followed in the cabinet submission on October 11 according to the former finance minister's allocation of funding to constituencies.

"That will be revised and will be according to the Red Cross Assessment," he said.

Mr Lilo's previous arrangement to disburse rehabilitation funds through constituency MPs' has caused considerable concern among the ADB and other donors over how their funds were expended.

Mr Boyer's said the current adjustments will ensure that funding disbursement will be made in line with the original ADB intention which involved a much more transparent process.

"This will follow through with the approval of the original intention of the ADB led shelter rehabilitation to get the donors back in line and get the government in a more transparent process at the national level.

"I'm putting in another cabinet paper in relation to government accountability of funds and they will be audited and MPs will be held accountable for the expenditure," Mr Boyers said.


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