22 Apr 2013

Call for aid donors to scrutinise Solomons government spending

10:55 am on 22 April 2013

The anti-corruption organisation Transparency Solomon Islands wants aid donors to monitor more closely the way the government spends their funding.

The call follows the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission's announcement of a fourfold increase in the amount paid out to MPs leaving parliament, a move that has attracted strong criticism.

The commission's chairman says the increase, from 14,000 US dollars to 56,000, is to help MPs pay outstanding utilities bills and the costs of resettlement in their home provinces.

But Transparency's executive officer, Daniel Fenua, says there is no way the increase can be justified or afforded.

"And now we turn to the aid donors, who actually have some influence in the government and some donors are actually, they are disagreeing about what the government does, but in terms of diplomacy, we leave it to what the diplomats will say. But we are sort of putting pressure on the aid donors to make sure that whatever requirements they put on giving aid they should include transparency and accountability in government systems and processes as a prerequisite to aid recipient."