24 Jun 2013

Solomons Finance Minister rejects corruption charge

3:33 pm on 24 June 2013

The finance minister of Solomon Islands says he was just doing his job when he awarded funding to a lodge owned by his wife.

The Leadership Code Commission charged Rick Hou for misconduct by putting himself in the position where he could have a conflict of interest.

The LCC says Mr Hou approved the payment of 39,000 US dollars of his constituency's funds to a lodge owned by his wife.

He says the application was withdrawn after public backlash and no money has been paid, but it was one of six successful applicants.

He says in awarding the funds, he was simply doing his job as Minister.

"The administration and application procedures required the involvement of the MP concerned, so this is why I was involved. The procedures, the requirements of the ministry are that the MP has to do the endorsment. You can't leave it to another person."

Finance Minister Rick Hou.