2 May 2006

Call for more transparency of funds approved by Solomons PM

7:00 pm on 2 May 2006

There is a call for more transparency in the way Taiwan channels funds through the Solomon Islands prime minister's office as part of its aid package.

The deputy governor of the Central Bank, Denton Rarawa, says they've noticed that the prime minister needs to approve the requests that come from the public or from members of parliament in regards to funds that go through his office from Taiwan.

He says he cannot yet put a number on the amounts that goes through the P.M.'s office or whether they are solely to do with the Rural Constituency Development Fund.

But, Mr Rarawa says they've raised their concerns with the Ministry of Finance because the total transactions run into millions of dollars.

"I think the confusion or the wrong perception is being created because the prime minister is involved in the approval and screening of these funds. So, we are concerned, and we believe the funds should be channelled through the Ministry of Finance and through the Consolidated Fund. I think that's the most transparent way of handling these funds."

Mr Rarawa says he cannot say whether the funds comprise a separate slush fund as reported in the media or if they are part of the total aid package from Taiwan.