Majjistral Park is ‘not abandoned’
Late audited accounts blamed for delays in NGO funding
The Government has denied abandoning Majjistral Park, saying it was the management’s fault if the funding was delayed because the annual audited accounts had been submitted late.
Last week, the Gaia Foundation – one of three environmental groups contracted by the Resources Ministry to manage Malta’s first national park through the Heritage Parks Federation – accused the Government of “persistently failing to honour its financial commitments related to management fees for 2011 and 2012”.
“The assertion that the Government abandoned the park is rich on the part of the foundation” seeing that the Resources Ministry received the audited accounts late “year in, year out.”.
As a result, the foundation “repeatedly misses the bus since the relevant government financial allocation can then not be used on time,” a ministry spokesman said.
The ministry pointed out that any agreement stipulated terms and obligations for all parties, in this case, the ministry itself and the Heritage Parks Federation.
One of the requirements was the submission of yearly audited accounts, which had to be presented to the ministry by March of each year.
Unfortunately, the ministry noted, the Majjistral Park had been referring such audited accounts late.
The last payment was issued in December. The audited accounts for 2011 were submitted in the last months of 2012, the ministry said.
The first interim payment of €28,000 from the agreed yearly amount of €69,881 was paid. Another payment is being prepared. “The foundation may rest assured that Government will honour its full financial obligations,” it said.
To avoid a repeat, “it is hoped that the Gaia Foundation will take the same initiative to go public to ensure the submission of the relevant audited accounts is on time, that is, by March for both parties to be up to date,” the ministry said.