15 Feb 2011

Cooks PM plans disclosure of travel costs

1:42 pm on 15 February 2011

The Cook Islands Prime minister, Henry Puna, plans to lift the ban on public disclosure of civil list travel figures and will be presenting a cabinet submission to this effect this week.

According to Parliament, travel costs incurred by ministers and MPs have been kept secret for more than two decades following a ruling made by then speaker of parliament, David Hosking.

Mr Hosking was acting on the instruction of the government at the time.

Our correspondent Florence Syme Buchanan reports.

"Successive administrations have refused to lift the ban, until now. Mr Puna says can't understand why the travel figures have been kept top secret for so long - but this is most likely due to past administrations not wanting their travel to be open to scrutiny. The prime minister believes there's nothing sensitive about the travel figures and because it involves public funds, people have a right to know about them."