25 Mar 2008

Lack of experience causes Tongan minister to break law, says government

4:28 pm on 25 March 2008

The Tongan Minister for Information says it's a lack of experience that caused the Tourism Minister to break the law.

In a report into allegations of corruption against the Tourism Minister, Fineasi Funaki, the Auditor General found Mr Funaki broke the law by depositing more than 1,600 US dollars from the Chinese Embassy into his personal account.

It was found he did so to avoid the long process of obtaining funds from Treasury.

The Minister for Information, Afu'alo Matoto, says it's unfortunate the minister did not seek advice from treasury or the finance ministry.

"You have a minister which was appointed only recently, he had no prior experience in the public service and I think this must be a reason why it was difficult for them to understand the system. It is lack of experience and probably a lack of wisdom to deal with the situation."

Tonga's Minister for Information, Afu'alo Matoto