5 Jul 2010

Cooks police to probe Audit Director over misconduct claim

1:20 pm on 5 July 2010

The Cook Islands Commissioner of Police says an investigation will be made into a formal complaint of misconduct against the Audit Director, Paul Allsworth.

Commissioner Ma'ara Tetava says police are examining the complaint, which has been lodged by the former secretary of finance, Sholan Ivaiti.

Mr Ivaiti claims the Audit Director received bonus payments and backdated pay increases that were not properly authorised.

Florence Syme Buchanan reports from Rarotonga.

"Mr Ivaiti says he's provided the Finance Minister, Police and the Public Expenditure Review Committee with evidence to back his allegations. He also accuses the Audit Director and Public Service Commissioner of collusion, and calls for an independant investigation into the actions of the Public Service Commissioner as well. Meanwhile, Public Expenditure Review Committee chair, Marie Francis, has confirmed they will be addressing Mr Ivaiti's complaint. Ms Francis says they will be able to determine whether the complaint is justified, when the committee conducts the annual review of audits, financial accounts and budget, as required by law."

Florence Syme Buchanan reporting