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NDC report “inadequate”,to be submitted to Cabinet on Friday

Press Release – Government of Tonga

A report commissioned by the Government of Tonga and recently leaked to media regarding the Nuku’alofa Development Corporation (NDC) will be tabled in the next scheduled Cabinet meeting on Friday, 24 June 2011. However, Government wishes to provide some …NDC report “inadequate”, to be submitted to Cabinet this Friday

22 June, 2011 – A report commissioned by the Government of Tonga and recently leaked to media regarding the Nuku’alofa Development Corporation (NDC) will be tabled in the next scheduled Cabinet meeting on Friday, 24 June 2011.

However, Government wishes to provide some context to this report, given the one-dimensional coverage it has received from some local media:

The NDC was created by the former administration to oversee the reconstruction of Nuku’alofa Central Business District, financed by a $TOP118 million loan from China’s EXIM Bank. The NDC was and still is a Cabinet Sub Committee chaired by the Prime Minister with members including the Ministers of Works, Transport, Lands and Finance.

In May 2009, the former administration signed a Contract of Assignment with private contractors to effectively take over project management, while regularly reporting to the NDC. This contract was renewed for another year on December 16, 2010, despite its expiration date on 31 March 2011and the fact that the previous government was in caretaker mode.
Since the beginning of this new government, the Prime Minister has taken special interest in the NDC, specifically the management, accountability and transparency of the reconstruction, especially since the IMF has identified Tonga’s “high risk” of debt distress due to substantial overseas loans.

• In keeping with the pillars of transparency and accountability, the Prime Minister and Cabinet engaged Dr Teena Brown Pulu and Mr Melino Maka to undertake a review of NDC’s work, particularly in relation to the disbursement of monies in the reconstruction of Nuku’alofa.

The assignment is one of many similar exercises which the Government wishes to conduct in the interests of good governance.
Response to the Report
Preliminary analysis of the findings in the report by Dr Brown Pulu and Mr Maka deem it unreliable and inadequate for action, based on the following reasons:

(1) The report does not at all fulfill the key objectives and terms of reference of the exercise, including providing a verifiable and accurate account of how the loan funds have been used under the NDC;

(2) Instead, it spends considerable effort making personal attacks on advisors and consultants, based on the authors’ own opinions and inferences;

(3) The report exceeds its mandate by making political statements while not fulfilling its own terms of reference; and finally

(4) The bulk of the findings are based on information sourced directly from the parties the assignment was to review, and not all of the entities involved in the reconstruction. This ultimately calls into question the report’s integrity and credibility.
A letter from the Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet on 15 June, 2011, addressed to Dr Brown Pulu and Mr Maka notes that any Government authorisations or engagement with them have been counted cancelled and void.

The report will be submitted to Cabinet, as previously intended. However, the Government will consider appointing another team to carry out a comprehensive review of NDC operations that is more qualified and complete.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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1 comment:

  1. Tuitonga Matautia, 23. June 2011, 11:24

    I am gutted with the findings of this research, and yeah the Government got it right in questioning the credibility of these researchers. C’mon Dr Pulu and Mr Maka, do your homework and don’t bring Tongan researchers into disrepute. Mo foki he vave taha ki NZ ‘o hoko atu e ngaue ai ee