October 24, 2014
News Update
Improvements needed for MOF Tax Auditing Program
One of the first performance audits of a government agency shows numerous areas for improvement in the Ministry of Finance's Tax Auditing Program. The RMI Auditor General stressed the importance of this office to the government, pointing out that it is responsible for bringing an extra $3 million in taxes into the RMI treasury over recent years. “We found that improvements are needed to ensure a more effective tax auditing program,” said the auditor in their only performance audit conducted in FY2014. In one of the findings, the audit pointed out that in 2010, the Tax Audit Office planned to audit 25 business, but audited not a single one. Finance said it faced staffing problems that challenged its ability to carry out its program.
Read more about this in the October 31, 2014
edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.
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Listen up gentlemen...
Dry Spell slashes copra figures
Tobolar experienced a huge drop in copra production this past fiscal year, which officials say is the result of a severe drought the country suffered two years ago. Copra production in FY2013 went over 7,000 tons for only the fourth time since copra data began being recorded in 1951. But this past fiscal year, which ended September 30 saw copra tonnage plummet to 4,778 tons — a 33 percent drop. “The drop in copra production is a result of the drought we had recently and we were expecting it,” said Tobolar General Manager Jemi Nashion. “We hope it will pick up soon as we were informed there is sign of recovery in the affected areas.” For the first time in many years, Mili was the top producing atoll of the year, delivering 822 tons to the Majuro processing plant. Usually Arno and Ailinglaplap are number one and two in production, but this year Arno took second (683 tons) and Ailinglaplap was third (556 tons). Fourth was Namdrik (371 tons) and fifth was Jaluit (320 tons). The data tends to confirm Nashion’s estimate of the drought impact. Few northern islands, where the drought was concentrated, were big producers and four of the five top producers are all southern atolls.
A sudden jump in domestic violence reports has resulted in the High Court issuing numerous restraining orders against men during the past two months. The nine complaints of domestic violence filed by women in the High Court this year far exceeds the total number of violence complaints filed over the previous three years, which amounted to only two. Six of these nine have been filed over the past two months. In most of the 2014 cases of women reporting their husbands or boyfriends assaulting them, the High Court responded by holding a hearing on the same day as the complaint was presented. In virtually all of the cases, the High Court Chief Justice Carl Ingram and Associate Justice Dinsmore Tuttle issued temporary protection orders directing that the men stay at least 200 feet away from the victims. In all of these cases, the High Court set a hearing date within a week to review whether to dismiss the protection order or extend it. After the initial filing of the complaint and the issuance of the court order, in many cases the women either did not appear at the next scheduled hearing or by agreement with their partners dismissed the complaints. In the case of no shows, the judges dismissed the protection orders but said complaints could be re-filed by the victims at any time. According to High Court records, there were no petitions from women seeking protection orders against abusive partners in 2011 and 2013, and only two in 2012.
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Marshall Islands Journal
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Micronesian Press Awards – The first national Micronesian Press Club spoof was put on last week in a local bar here with several persons, including a waitress and a bartender in attendance. . . . See more