Sep 11, 2020 | News

Government Statistician Douglas Kimi

The Solomon Islands National Statistical Office and the 2019 Census Project Office maintains its actions to directly pay service providers involved in the 2019 nation-wide census exercise is procedural and consistent with the government’s public financial management guidelines.

Census Commissioner Douglas Kimi said a working committee set up to review the claims effectively separated personal claims from the supervisors, enumerators, area managers and those of the service providers.

Mr Kimi came out today to make this clarification after a supervisor from the Western Province who participated in the census alleged in the Solomon Star Newspaper today that such transactions were unprocedural.

The Supervisor who goes by the name of ‘Derek’ said that by directly depositing payments into services providers bank accounts, it bypasses the verification procedure by supervisors during the national exercise which is disputed by Mr Kimi as utterly misconceived.

But Mr Kimi reiterated that all the claims submitted by the supervisors went through a rigorous process by the committee.

“The review was carried out under a set criteria in line with the Public Finance Management Act and financial guidelines where individual claims were examined and cross-checked against facts on the ground and information collected.

“It was also conducted based on NSO’s internal wide experience of survey-census related costs of conducting similar complex surveys in the recent past.

Mr Kimi said a number of the submitted claims were dubious, false and duplicated, but others were genuine.

These he said were vetted through the process by the working committee and paid through their bank accounts.

The whole rigorous process took the office more than six months.

“The claims received in March this year amounted to more than six million dollars which exceeded the government budgetary allocation for such purpose. After the review, this was effectively cut down to 1.9 million dollars.

“ We will make arrangements to pay those service providers with no bank accounts in the coming weeks.”