Leadership watchdog freezes DSIP funds
|Michael Dick, Chief OC|
According to the Post Courier, Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick and Commissioner Richard Pagen said the move is to take effect immediately in order to prevent bribery and inducements during the election period – and will be lifted after the formation of a new government.
Ombudsman Dick said there has been ongoing public concern regarding the release and disbursement of public fund during the period leading up to the elections.
It has been an ongoing public concern that the period up to and inclusive of the national election to the parliament, serious concerns arise regarding the release, disbursement, transfer and receipt of public money purporting to be in the form of electoral (services improvement program) and constitutional grants (district and provincial support grants) funds and various development funds under Provincial Support Grants and District Support Grants.
- Michael Dick, Chief Ombudsman CommissionerThe move by the OC comes hours after Governor General (GG) Bob Dadae officially issued writs for the national elections.
Meanwhile, the OC is concerned that some districts may have transferred funds in development accounts to operating accounts in order to avoid the freeze. Ombudsman Dick said this would be in breach of operating laws and guidelines and if so said funds should be immediately remitted back into development accounts.