3 Sep 2002

Cook Island officials concerned about extra funding to overseas seat

2:36 pm on 3 September 2002

nb to follow Rasmussen tapes"

Meanwhile, government officials are believed to be holding up the release of the extra funding over concerns about how it will be spent.

A high ranking source says the money is not being handed over by the Ministry of Finance because a cashflow projection on how it would be used for the 12 months has not been received.

It's also understood that questions are being asked about whether the money will be spent in Rarotonga or Auckland.

Initially the extra funding was to set up an office in the Cook Islands to deal with overseas constituents but Dr Williams is now saying he wants to employ field officers in Auckland.

A monthly report would be required but the audit department makes the decision on how often to audit the accounts.