The National, Monday 23rd January 2012
By JEFFREY ELAPA
INVESTIGATIONS into the Border Development Authority start this week, Minister for Finance and Treasury, Don Polye says.
Polye said this in response to questions raised by Milne Bay Governor John Luke during question time in Parliament last Friday.
Luke said the vessel Milne Bay Atolls had been bought from Indonesia at a cost of K5million, an inflated price when the actual price was a K2 million.
He said there were so many fishy deals involved in the purchase of the vessel as many people had benefited through commissions.
He said instead of serving its purpose, the vessel had been leased for five years and was now in Pomio, East New Britain.
He said the purpose of buying the vessel was to serve the people of Milne Bay but it had ended up in another location and not a border province.
He called for an investigation into the use of funds and the abuse of assets by the authority “before every asset disappears in the wrong hands”.
Western Governor Dr Bob Danaya voiced concern that his province was still waiting for two vessels to operate in his province and for surveillance along the border of Indonesia and Australia.
Polye agreed it was a very serious matter as there were many questions about the manner in which the authority had operated.
He said he had learned that the purpose and aim of setting up the authority had not been fulfilled.
He said the government had appointed a new chairman two months ago and an investigation will be conducted, starting this week.
He said the functions and powers vested under the Minister for Finance and Treasury would be transferred to the Department of Provincial Affairs when all investigations had been completed.