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Letter: Where’re the checks and balances?

Friday 26 May 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Letter: Where’re the checks and balances?

Dear Editor, This is not favourable treatment, it’s more like criminal hijacking at the highest level? (Favourable treatment: PERC report on Penrhyn cyclone shelters project, Tuesday 23 May 2023)

At first when you fail to obtain a major loan from a commercial bank to finance the purchase of a private commercial barge, then go through a vulnerable government department such as Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI).

Easy access was made by Cook Islands General Transport (CIGT) via ICI for over half a million dollars or $580,000. This was conveniently called, ‘freight services in advance’. Public funds were used to fund companies like CIGT and Civil Contractors Ltd (CCL).

CCL only had paid up capital of 300 $1.00 shares. Hardly a company with a solid capital base and local working experience? CCL was only formed in July 2019 and less than a year later, awarded in excess of the tender price of $5.312 million for this major contract with no start and completion dates? Where are the checks and balances in our tender and financial system? What are the consequences? How did these major contract flaws get pass the scrutiny of top senior officials like Financial Secretary, Garth Henderson and Minister of Finance, Mark Brown?  Are there other areas of government contracts that should be scrutinised?

Mr Parafrosyni

(Name and address supplied)