Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 13 April 2015

Your editor is back on the job … and there is so much to be covered from the last ten days. Missing stories will most likely just be headlined for a few days, but it must be understood this news blog is intended mainly as a free news diary service to libraries, students overseas, ni-Vanuatu away from home like the RSE workers, and former residents, so you will not want any big news omitted. The Digest will try to oblige, starting with Daily Post today.

Of course the post-Pam coverage is the most important and merits the brilliant and moving front page photo of the hard working troops of all Australian defence services personnel leaving Vanuatu after their relief operations. Captain Jay Bannister of HMAS Tobruk cemented relations between Australia and Vanuatu by pointing out Australia’s pleasure in assisting Vanuatu. Ni-Vanuatu would agree they made a big difference. Cyclone Pam battered Vanuatu a month ago today.

British High Commissioner Dominic Meiklejohn spoke of the British assistance to Vanuatu as a gesture of "solidarity with one of our oldest partners and members of the Commonwealth, and a country with which, certainly in the two years that I have been High Commissioner, we have enjoyed excellent relations." He was also grateful for the help offered British nationals in Vanuatu during the passage of Pam.

Post reports certain community leaders complaining concerning relief supply distribution. It was always thus with cyclone relief.

The Public Accounts Committee is highly critical of the 34 State Owned Enterprises which failed to produce audited financial statements according to the law according to the Public Finance and Economic Management Act. They want to see changes to the law which will enable the Auditor General to punish offending heads of SoEs. Some SoEs have not furnished reports for over ten years. Others have paid no dividend to Government for such lengthy periods.

Daily Post today is worth the VT 100 expense for the letter of Ni-Vanuatu praising the work of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee. SoE businesses’ executives, are criticised as "recipients of fat salaries and lucrative lifestyles", "driving round town in flashy vehicles when they can’t even keep their books in order." Public opinion concurrs.