The Nitijela audit panel conducting public hearings for government and state owned enterprises this week is following a new method: they are looking beyond the numbers and zeroing in on how to improve services.
The Public Accounts Committee is chaired by Maloelap Senator Bruce Bilimon, a longtime employee at the Ministry of Finance prior to his election.
The inclusion of former Secretary of Finance and current Ailinglaplap Senator Alfred Alfred, Jr. alongside Bilimon proved beneficial in the hearings as the two digest and carry lengthy discussions with the summoned agencies.
Namu Senator Tony Aiseia gave Finance “two thumbs up” for their clean report and in the same breath criticized the maze people go through with the purchase requisition and purchase order system.
The panel pleaded with Marshall Islands Development Bank to reinstate the taxi scheme, which was temporarily halted because of issues with loan payments from drivers. The MIDB scheme has provided locals with rent-to-own vehicles.
MIDB Chair Reginald White elaborated that the taxi scheme is still ongoing despite the temporary halt. Reginald said there are over 30 Marshallese enrolled in the program, including one female.
Reginald explained the reason why MIDB is not ordering more vehicles is because several current drivers are not pulling their weight and turning in the $100 weekly turn-in as agreed in the program.
Read more about this in the March 8, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.