31 Aug 2006

Solomon Islands Central Bank governor welcomes greater stringency

7:11 pm on 31 August 2006

The Solomon Islands Central Bank governor is welcoming changes to the way the government is administering its funds.

Rick Hou says he has not been officially notified of moves to alter the way the Rural Communities Development Fund, the RCDF, will be operated but he believes it is necessary.

The changes to the parliamentary entitlement regulations will require MPs to account for the money from the fund when it is spent in their constituency and it will then be audited.

Mr Hou says a statement that RCDF funds are no longer being kept at the prime minister's office unlike the previous administration which had a discretionary fund, is also welcomed.

"The prime minister used to administer a discretionary fund. We don't know about these funds, I don't think many people know and while we receive funds regularly for the government that's doesn't mean everything that the government receives, comes through here. They can receive money direct through the commercial banks."

The largest contributor to the RCDF is Taiwan and Mr Hou says that money is processed through the Central Bank.

He did not link the discretionary funds with the RCDF funds.