25 Jun 2007

Solomons provincial government urged to control logging company payouts

8:42 am on 25 June 2007

The Solomon Islands Leadership Code commission says provincial governments must reprimand executives who are being paid excessive allowances by logging companies.

Under the Forestry Act, the provincial government appoints an executive committee to determine which companies can get timber rights.

Emmannuel Kouhota says its aware that some are being offered thousands of dollars by logging companies.

He says in contrast, the normal allowance is just 40 Solomon Island dollars or around 5 U.S. dollars per meeting.

"That is the commission's concern because they're paid excessive allowances and our concern is that that could undermine their decisions or could compromise their decision on whether to grant timber rights or not. We fear there might be conflicts of interest in those situations."

Emmannuel Kouhota says the Commission has been told the practise occurs in a number of provinces.