9 Jul 2003

Cooks MP not billing for consultancy work while argument continues

10:40 am on 9 July 2003

Cook Islands MP, Norman George, says he's not billing for his environmental consultancy work until concerns over double dipping are investigated.

The opposition Cook Islands party has called on the attorney-general to seek a declaratory ruling over whether Mr George and MP Paora Teiti should hold their seats after the audit office found they'd been paid a salary twice by the government.

Mr George says the audit office report isn't a judicial finding and he has little respect for it.

"I have already voluntarily not billed for my services although I have continued with my work as consultant to the Prime Minister, as Minister of the Environment as well as the Director of the Environment. I have not been billing them while this matter is under investigation."

The audit office found that Mr George had received an additional 26 thousand U.S. dollars as a consultant.

The MP says authorities should ask for an opinion from Crown Law.