27 Sep 2010

Transparency Vanuatu calls for independent spending probe

7:31 am on 27 September 2010

Transparency International in Vanuatu is calling for a government probe into how funds allocated for the July celebrations of the 30th anniversary of independence were spent.

The lobby group claims that the 60 million vatu, or 600,000 US dollar, allocation is the biggest ever, with about 240,000 going to the capital and the remainder distributed between the six provinces and Luganville.

The TI president, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson, says among the aspects of the spending it wants the government to investigate is why a Port Vila city councillor was awarded a contract without tender to construct food and kava stalls.

"I don't have the exact figure right now but he was originally given eight million to do the stalls and he said he needed an extra five million to complete the job. You wonder whether even with one eighth of the money this should be able to be made because they're all local materials, you can i with a truck to cut in the bush."

Transparency Vanuatu's president, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson.