18 Oct 2010

Solomons government rejects claims of lack of scrutiny of hefty hotel bill

5:09 pm on 18 October 2010

The Solomon Islands government is denying there is any wrongdoing in the payment of the 150-thousand US dollar hotel bill it racked up during the post-election negotiations.

In a statement, the opposition leader Steve Abana says the bill was not assessed for verification by the National Parliament Office before it was paid.

He says he believes most of the costs in the bill were incurred by relatives and cronies of government MPs, rather than the politicians themselves.

But Prime Minister Danny Philip's press secretary, Alfred Sasako, says there is nothing sinister about the payment.

"I'm not sure about cronies but I do know that when verification is absent that might be saying that the payment was done according to the letter. The fact that it's been paid certainly means that it has gone through the scrutiny that's put in place in the system."

Alfred Sasako says it is routine for parliament to pay for MPs' hotel bills during the post-election lobbying process.