26 Mar 2011

TI Solomon Islands concerned over allegations of misuse of aid money

10:16 am on 26 March 2011

The head of an anti corruption watchdog in Solomon Islands says allegations of misuse of millions of Australian aid money are a real concern.

Australia's Herald Sun says millions of AusAID dollars are squandered on non-wage running costs such as office refurbishment's and taxis.

It says AusAID has 175 fraud cases under investigation across 27 countries including 71 in Papua New Guinea and 19 in Solomon Islands.

Transparency International's head in Solomon Islands, Bob Pollard, says it's important that aid funds are properly scrutinised as accountability is a cornerstone of aid development.

"Over the years there has always been a concern that sometimes the aid money isn't as transparent on this end as some would like it to be, covering most of the donors. Its something we've assumed the donors are scrutinizing their funds well but its important that there's transparency for all to see."

Bob Pollard says the Solomon Islands economy is very heavily dependent on donors and it's critical both aid money and government spending are transparent so people who need help receive it.