20 Sep 2013

Three suspended from Solomons finance ministry over fraud

3:30 pm on 20 September 2013

The permanent secretary for the Solomon Islands finance ministry says three staff have been suspended over government fraud totalling almost two million US dollars.

Shadrach Fanega says the fraud relates to a health sector programme for the building of hospitals and clinics and involves both AusAid and government money.

Five health minstry staff have been also been suspended over the matter.

Mr Fanega says recent auditing improvements made the fraud's discovery possible and the extent of misappropriation of both donor and government funds is being investigated.

"The amount involved so far is 10 million Solomon Islands dollars and that is related only to the AusAid-funded projects but two or so million dollars is SIG's own funds."

Shadrach Fanega says hopefully tighter auditing will dissuade people from committing further fraud.