31 Oct 2006

Concerns over Canberra bound Solomons diplomat who's mentioned in audit report

7:22 pm on 31 October 2006

The Solomon Islands High Commissioner designate to Australia has been implicated in a 'special audit' report of Guadalcanal Province to have received 243,000 US dollars in humanitarian assistance.

Former MP Victor Ngele was said to have received the money as part of 971,000 US dollar in humanitarian assistance given to the eight Guadalcanal MPs for disbursement to their people after the signing of the Townsville Peace Accord in 2000.

The audit in 2004 recommended that further investigations be undertaken including getting relevant bank statements and to confirm whether the funds actually reached the displaced people.

Foreign affairs officials say there is nothing much the government administration can do to have Mr Ngele clear his name before taking up the Canberra post, because it was a political decision.

The Guadalcanal warlord Harold Keke also received 71,000 US dollars from the same funding assistance.