29 Nov 2005

Inaction over missing compensation funds, with Solomons PM at centre of probe

9:38 pm on 29 November 2005

The Solomon Islands auditor-general, Floyd Fatai, says he tabled a critical report about millions of missing dollars in parliament because it has not been acted on.

The prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, has been implicated in the fall-out over a soft loan from Taiwan's Exim bank which provided funds for the government to disburse compensation payments in the wake of the ethnic tension.

Mr Fatai says 5.7 million U.S. dollars remains unaccounted for out of a total of 20.7 million U.S. dollars from the loans which were paid out from 2001 by the Ministry of National Unity and Reconciliation.

The minister at the time was the current P.M., Sir Allan.

Mr Fatai says the audit office found that many compensation claims were either excessive or completely false.

He says one of these claims, for which 851,000 Solomon Islands dollars or nearly 121,000 U.S. dollars was paid out, was made by the former minister.

"The report was made to the former minister of finance, Hon. Francis Zama. Up until now, there's no action taken so it is in that context, that I've seen it fit to make the report known to public through the speaker of parliament."

Mr Fatai says the report should have been referred to police.