26 Jun 2008

Vanuatu's poor quality of governance exposed

7:35 pm on 26 June 2008

The Vanuatu Association of Non-Government Organisations, or VANGO, says the country still has a long way to go to improve its governance record.

VANGO spokesman Henry Vira says Vanuatu must work hard to maintain its status as a nation with acceptable governance procedures in place.

Governance issues have resurfaced just as the first major Millenium Challenge Account project in Vanuatu, the Efate ring road, got underway this month.

The local MCA director, Lennox Vuti, while acknowledged as the key person behind the road project, was barred from attending the ground-breaking ceremony, reportedly on the instruction of Washington, due to misconduct claims.

Henry Vira says the concerns over Mr Vuti highlight an ongoing problem in Vanuatu:

"A lot of people raise their eyebrows when it comes to governance as the basis for Vanuatu's qualification to this fund. It's a common concern that a lot of NGOs stand up to protect and promote the rule of law and governance principles to be followed."

Henry Vira