18 Apr 2011

European Union backing Cook Islands push for aid to be in national budget

7:31 pm on 18 April 2011

The Cook Islands acting finance secretary says the European Union is backing a government push to have donor aid put straight into the general budget.

Priscilla Maruariki says consultations on the first draft national aid policy are underway with development partners.

She says the government wants aid to be more predictable, more aligned with the budget process and fully accounted for.

"EU is a champion in the area of general budget support, that's why EU has initiated the idea of undertaking a PEFA assessment next month. So EU is paying for that, they're sending people over to assess the strength of our financial management system and other donor partners are waiting for that assessment."

Priscilla Maruariki says once the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability assessment is complete the EU's looking to channel general budget support to the Cook Islands government within the next financial year.