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Letter: Who’s pulling the strings?

Saturday 26 August 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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Letter: Who’s pulling the strings?

Dear Editor, While the Prime Minister is too busy on his overseas trips, his Cabinet Minister George “Maggie” Angene appears to be running a racket by treating the Ministry of Cultural Development bank account like his personal piggy bank.

From the reports, Agene has used the now suspended Head of Ministry Anthony Turua, to obtain purchases for himself. The questions is, why isn’t the Minister Angene suspended as well? The Audit Office report indicates that instructions from the Minister to Turua, paved the way for various purchases of equipment and materials for the Minister. Angene is part of this racket and is also responsible for Turua’s suspension. What is the PM going to do about this racket, and has Angene breached the Cabinet Manual or Parliamentary Code of Conduct? If this happened in New Zealand, Minister Angene will certainly get his marching orders!

Details supplied

Footnote: Prime Minister Mark Brown has been forthcoming, and has expressed confidence in Angene, and his senior staff. PM Brown told Cook Islands News earlier this week that all Heads of Ministries (HOMS) are aware of their fiduciary duties and responsibilities in managing public funds. All ministers are also aware of their roles in ensuring ministries and agencies implement government policies. 

“HOMS are expected to work closely with their responsible Minister in this regard; at the end of the day HOMs are responsible for their budgets and are held accountable for the management of funds. Minister Angene’s enthusiasm for ensuring his portfolio agencies carry out their roles and responsibilities should be commended. His close involvement with his HOMs and work ethic may be misconstrued by his detractors as undue influence.”  

“He is after all the ‘action man’.”