12 Aug 2013

Marshalls Islands watchdog dresses down government agencies

7:09 pm on 12 August 2013

The chairman of a parliamentary oversight committee in the Marshall Islands has warned that government departments need to ensure proper service to the public.

The parliament, or Nitijela, Public Accounts Committee has just reviewed virtually every government ministry or agency during its annual oversight hearings that are held just ahead of the August parliamentary session starting this week.

The committee took Ministry of Health officials to task, demanding answers to audits that chairman, senator Kenneth Kedi, says show repeated violations by the ministry of the government's procurement code, including the purchase of expensive 'smart' cell phones for administrators.

Mr Kedi says the committee received positive feedback from the public, and added that taxpayers have entrusted government ministries and agencies with the resources to manage services for the public good.

The smart phones had been bought in the Philippines but the committee says they could have been acquired in Majuro at a fraction of the cost.