Expensive Travel for State Elected Leaders

By Kambes Kesolei —-

While deep scrutiny and media coverage was placed on the $30,000 spent by six members of the 9th OEK for VAT study in Cook Islands and New Zealand, however, in comparison,  little inspection has been made to the $70,000 travel money budgeted by the members of the 9th Koror State Legislature for fiscal year 2013.

We may disagree about the approach to study the VAT system and the amount of money used to fund the trip, but there was no question about the Republic looking to improve or to institute a better tax system. The reason for much of the public’s display of criticism is because the nationally elected leaders made it a point to be transparent about the amount of funding and the purpose of the trip. In other words, they gave the people the ammunition to second guess their decisions.

In contrast, with a little more than two-months left for the 9th the Koror State Legislature to complete its 4-year term, one may wonder how did the legislators spent the $70,000 travel budgeted for this fiscal year and previous four years bduget, for that matter. Where did travel money go and for what purpose?

We know about the annual events including Asia Pacific Association of Fiduciary Studies (APAFS) conference and Yap Day, but whether they are necessary or not is a topic for another day. But, in all sincerity, what sort of foreign travel do state legislators undertake that is essential for the betterment of the Koror people’s lives?

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