14 Mar 2003

Uncertainty over probe into Norman George's employment

4:31 pm on 14 March 2003

The Cook Islands Public Expenditure Review Committee has declined to say whether it will proceed with an investigation into the employment of a member of parliament, Norman George, as a consultant for the Environmental Council.

A complaint against Mr George, who is also the the prime minister's chief advisor, was lodged with the Committee by a member of the Environmental Council.

Mr George says four complaints have been lodged against him amid widespread criticism about him getting paid as a government consultant while receiving a salary as an MP.

The chairman of the Environmental Council, Ian Karika, says Mr George's contract is justified because the National Environment Bill needs to be completed.

Mr George, who is a former environment ministers, was dumped from cabinet last year.