24 Sep 2013

Solomons Govt undertakes to repay fraud money: AusAID

1:25 pm on 24 September 2013

Australia's aid agency AusAID says should fraud be established in its Solomon Islands programme the government of that country has undertaken to repay the amount involved.

The statement follows confirmation from the Solomons finance ministry of the suspension of eight public servants while an investigation is carried out into financial irregularities related to a programme for the building of hospitals and clinics.

The permanent secretary Shadrach Fanega says so far auditing has uncovered almost two million US dollars' worth of fraud, of which almost one point four million comes from Australia.

In a statement, AusAID says the matter is under investigation by the Solomon Islands Police and it is not appropriate to comment further at this time.

AusAID says it has a policy of zero tolerance to fraud in the aid program and all allegations or suspicions of fraud are taken very seriously.