Haʻapai governor regarded development fund as a blessing for his own projects, report says

ʻOku ʻi ai ha fakamatala faka-Tonga ki he talanoá ni ʻi he konga taupotu ki lalo ʻo e ongoongó ni

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Moʻale Fīnau says the money was under his control and his interpretation of how it should be spent was different. Photo/Tnews (Youtube)

The Governor of Ha’apai, Moʻale Fīnau, spent nearly all of a TP$150,000 meant for a community development fund, an auditor’s report has found.

The Auditor General’s office investigated the spending, which was allocated to the 2016/17 year.

It said the money was allocated to the Ha’apai Community Development Operation Fund.

Because it was located in Ha’apai it came under the governor’s budget, who used it as “he saw fit.”

The auditor’s report said the governor admitted that he was aware that the fund was for the Ha’apai Development Fund.

However, Governor Finau told Kaniva News today that he had asked the former Minister of Finance, ʻAisake Eke, to assign the $150,000 to his Haʻapai Governor office budget and not to the Haʻapai Development Committee as been done in previous years.

He said Eke agreed after he visited Haʻapai.

The money was spent on goods and services approved  by the governor.

The Noble’s representative from Ha’apai, Lord Tu’ihaangana, who is also the chair of the  committee, asked for an audit through the Speaker of the House, Lord Tu’ivakanō.

The report said the governor regarded the money as “a blessing” and used it to fulfil some projects he had wanted to complete for a long time.

These included a number of construction projects, including fencing, a grandstand and Jonah Lomu Park.

All of the construction costs exceeded the  Ministry of Finance and National Planning’s threshold of TP$7500, which requires projects to be processed through the ministry’s procurement division.

The report said most of the rest of the money was spent on cleaning up of Pangai downtown area and road side.

Proper procedures were not followed in hiring labour.

Assets purchased included a laptop for the use of the governor.

The report described the governor’s spending as “not appropriate.”

Funding for 2017/18 Ha’apai Community Development Operation Fund still came under the governor’s budget.

“The governor is advised to refrain from  repeating the practice,” the report said.

“It is advised that the governor and his office adjust their practices to be in line with government rules and regulations.”

Governor Finau said he had only seen the auditor General’s report yesterday and said its recommendations were “based on what he thinks.”

However, the money was under his control and his interpretation of how it should be spent was different.

The main points

  • The Governor of Ha’apai, Moʻale Finau, spent nearly of a TP$150,000 meant for a community development fund, an auditor’s reports has found.
  • The Auditor General’s office investigated the spending of the money, which was allocated to the 1916/17 year.
  • Governor Finau told Kaniva News the former Minister of Finance, ʻAisake Eke, had agreed to assign the TP$150,000 to his Haʻapai Governor office budget.
  • The report described the governor’s spending as “not appropriate.”

For more information 

Ha’apai Governor charged with careless driving after man injured

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  1. Naʻe ngāueʻaki ʻe he Kōvana Haʻapaí, Moʻale Fīnau ʻa e mei kotoa ʻo e paʻanga ʻe TP!50,000 ki he langa fakalakalaka fakakomiunitī ʻo Haʻapaí ki he ngaahi ngāue pe maʻa Haʻapai, ko e lau ia ʻa ha līpooti ʻa e ʻātitá.

    Naʻe fakatotoloʻi ʻe he ʻōfisi ʻo e ʻĀtita Senialé ʻa e fakamole ki he paʻangá ni, ʻa ia ne vaheʻi ʻi he taʻu fakapaʻanga 2016/17.

    Naʻe pehē naʻe vaheʻi ʻa e paʻangá ki he Paʻanga Ngāue Langa Fakalakalaka ʻa e Kominitī Haʻapaí.

    Koeʻuhī naʻe ʻi Haʻapai ʻa e paʻangá naʻe fakahū leva ia ʻi he patiseti ʻa e kōvaná, ʻo ne ngāueʻaki ki ha meʻa te ne pehē ʻe feʻungá, ko e lau ia ʻa e ʻātitá.

    Naʻe pehē ʻe he līpooti ʻa e ʻātitá naʻe fakahā pe ʻe he kōvaná naʻá ne ʻilo pe ko e paʻangá naʻe taumuʻa ki he Paʻanga Langa Fakalakalaka ʻa Haʻapaí.

    Neongo iá, naʻe fakahā ʻe Kōvana Fīnau ki he Ongoongo ʻa e Kanivá naʻá ne kole ki he Minisitā Paʻanga ki muʻá ʻAisake Eke ke fakahū ange ʻa e paʻanga tokoni ko ʻeni ʻe $150,000 ki he patiseti ʻa hono ʻōfisí kae ʻoua ʻe toe ʻave ia ki he kōmiti Langa Fakalakalaka ʻa Haʻapaí ʻo hangē ne lele mai mei muʻá.

    Naʻá ne pehē ne tui ki heni ʻa Eke hili haʻane ʻaʻahi ʻo sio ki he ngāue kuo lava ʻi Haʻapaí.

    Naʻe fakamoleki ʻa e paʻangá ʻi he koloa mo e ngaahi sēvesi naʻe tali ʻe he kōvaná.

    Naʻe kole ʻe Looti Tuʻihaʻangana, ʻa ia ko ia ne sea ʻi he kōmití ʻa Haʻapaí ki he Sea ʻo e Fale Aleá Looti Tuʻivakanō ke fai hano ʻātitaʻi ʻo e paʻangá.

    Naʻe pehē ʻe he līpōtí naʻe lau ʻe he kōvaná ko e tāpuaki ʻa hono ʻoange ʻo e paʻangá ni koeʻuhī ke fakaʻaongaʻi ki he ngaahi polōseki ne fuoloa mai ʻene fakaʻamu ke fakakakato.

    Naʻe kau heni ʻa e ngaahi langa, ko e ʻā, ko e kulenisiteni mo e paʻake Jonah Lomu.

    Ko e ngaahi fakamole kotoa ki he langá ne ʻova ia ʻi he paʻanga ʻe TP$7500 ʻoku tuʻutuʻuni ʻe he Potungāue Paʻangá mo e Palani Fakafonuá ke ʻave ʻa e ngaahi polōseki ʻova peheé ke fakamafaiʻi mei he potungāué paʻangá.

    Pehē ʻe he līpōtí ko e lahi taha ʻo e toenga paʻangá naʻe ngāueʻaki pe ki hono fakamaʻa ʻo e loto kolo ʻo Pangaí mo e ngaahi kauhalá.

    Ko hano haea mai e kau ngāué ki he ngāué naʻe ʻikai muimui ki he founga ngāué, ko e lau ia ʻa e līpōtí.

    Ko e ngaahi koloa naʻe fakataú naʻe kau ai ʻa e leepitopu ke ngāueʻaki ʻe he kōvaná.

    Naʻe fakamatalaʻi ʻe he līpōtí e fakamole ʻa e kōvaná ʻo pehē “naʻe ʻikai ke tuha.”

    Ko e fakapaʻanga ko ʻeni ki Haʻapai ki he taʻu fakapaʻanga 2017/18 ʻe kei vaheʻi mai pe ki he patiseti ʻa e kōvaná.

    Naʻe faleʻi ai ʻa e kōvaná ke ʻoua ʻe toe fakahoko ʻa e founga ko ʻení, ko e lau ia ʻa e līpōtí.

    ʻOku faleʻi heni ke fakatonutonu ʻe he kōvaná mo hono ʻōfisí ʻa e ngaahi founga ko ʻení ke hoa mo e tuʻutuʻuni mo e lao ʻa e puleʻangá, ko e lau ia ʻa e līpōtí.

    Naʻe pehē ʻe Fīnau ne toki sio pe ia ʻi he līpōtí ʻaneafi mo ne pehē ko e ngaahi fokotuʻu ʻa e ʻātita senialé aí naʻe makatuʻunga pe ia ʻi he ngaahi fakakaukau ʻa e ʻātita senialé.

    Neongo iá ko ia ia ne pule ki he paʻangá pea ko e anga ʻene fakaʻuhinga ʻana ki he founga hono fakamolekí ne kehe ia.