25 Mar 2008

Tonga Finance Ministry to review accounts procedures

8:25 pm on 25 March 2008

Tonga's finance ministry is to review it's current centralised accounting procedures following a report that says the Tourism Minister broke the law to avoid the long process of obtaining treasury funds.

The Auditor General found the Tourism Minister, Fineasi Funaki deposited a cheque of 16 hundred US dollars into his personal account so he could have petty cash readily available for the Ministry's Regional Tourism Week.

The Auditor General has recommended that if ministries find the current procedures too slow, cabinet should consider using the "Imprest System" as proposed in the Public Financing Act of 2002.

The Minister for Information, Afu'ola Matoto, says the system will be re-looked at.

"The Minister of Finance will be reviewing the system to see whether it needs to be changed or not. Things like this can happen mainly because of trying to by-pass the system or short-cut the system. The system is there for a very good reason. It will be reviewed to see whether it needs to be changed as people have been saying - or not."

Tonga's Minister for Information, Afu'ola Matoto.