22 Mar 2005

Investigation opens into local council in Vanuatu accused of maladministration

1:22 pm on 22 March 2005

An investigation is underway into a local council on the Vanuatu island of Espiritu Santo.

The Minister of Home Affairs, George Wells, has suspended the Luganville municipal council for alleged maladministration.

The Council has been running a budget deficit of 46,000 US dollars and is accused of irregularities, such as advancing pay, borrowing from council funds and calling meetings in order to collect extra allowances.

The First Political Advisor to the Minister, Joe Carlo, says a financial administrator from the department of provincial affairs is now looking into what has been going on:

"The Minister has appointed an investigator to look into the matter, following the appointment of a Commissioner, who is now in place, and following that report from the investigator, the Minister will decide what course of action to take."

The Minister of Home Affairs has asked for a report in the next six to twelve months.