26 Oct 2004

Loans to Solomons' public workers not returned

8:24 am on 26 October 2004

The Solomon Islands government has a huge amount of money still not returned, from officials who have used government money as advances on loans, or imprests.

Officials say at the last check in 1997, the amount unaccounted for, in unreturned imprests, was the equivalent of US$3 million.

The Public Service Under Secretary is Fred Fakarii

"A little back around 1996, I could remember. At that point, all the outstanding imprests were around seven million [Solomon Islands] dollars."

Mr Fakarii blames the lack of enforcement by senior public service officials for the slide in such procedures.

He says many public servants don't understand the government's financial instructions, or just choose to ignore them.