6 Apr 2005

Commissioner Morrell let go by Solomon Islands because of a lack of donor funding

1:51 pm on 6 April 2005

The Solomon Islands Government has confirmed that it let its police commissioner of the past two years, Bill Morrell of Briton, go because it couldn't find a donor to meet his salary.

Mr Morrell completed his two-year appointment at the end of the year but it was extended to the end of March.

His salary and other expenses had been paid by the European Union, with the Solomons Government meeting these costs for the past three months.

Mr Morrell says he had applied for the re-advertised position, saying he wanted to continue the work he had begun in reforming the police force.

But Alfred Maesulia of the Government Information Unit says they could not find the money to pay him.

"Since there was no funding from the Government, if he was accepted to continue in the post it meant that either the Government could fund the post or it could secure funding from either the EU or the UK but that didn't happen."

The Solomon Islands Government has confirmed that an Australian funded by Canberra will fill the role and unconfirmed reports on Radio Australia say the Federal Police Deputy Commissioner, Shane Castles, will be appointed.