14 Sep 2006

Solomon Islands Finance minister suspends assistance to small businesses

9:49 am on 14 September 2006

Solomon Islands Finance minister Bartholomew Ulufaálu has suspended the "Assistance to Small Businesses" funding scheme.

Auditor General Augustine Fatai says the move follows a preliminary audit on the scheme, which found a number of suspected fraudulent projects.

The SIBC reports Mr Fatai as saying some public officers benefited from projects funded from the scheme.

The funding scheme was established within the Department of Commerce, Industries and Employment to help existing businesses.

Mr Fatai says the Government allocated three-point-seven million dollars towards the scheme in the 2006 budget.