2 Aug 2005

Solomons MPs keep hold of more than US$1m in unused travel vouchers

3:23 pm on 2 August 2005

Solomon Islands MPs are said to be holding onto more than a million US dollars' worth of unused travel vouchers.

Almost 1.4 million US dollars in travel entitlements has been unused by their parliamentary recipients for several years.

John Roughan of the Solomon Islands Development Trust says this came to light in comments made by the finance minister in parliament last week.

Mr Roughan says MPs aren't respecting their own rules on using official funds.

"That's a fairly... a big amount of money; why hasn't it been retired- there's no law? Certainly there's a law, there are regulations, but they don't seem to be implemented."

An investigation into the prime minister's discretionary fund has been suspended because the fund had no usage guidelines to break.

John Roughan says this is a further example of a culture of immunity.