29 Jun 2015

Cooks Govt official accused of abuses

1:48 pm on 29 June 2015

A Cook Islands Government financial manager has been exposed in a report tabled in Parliament.

Sarah Samuels has been accused of abusing her position of power at the Business Trade and Investment Board in 2013.

The report says Ms Samuels overpaid her brother and paid for a number of personal expenses with Board funds without the authority of the chief executive officer, Terry Rangi.

The report also says Mr Rangi failed in his duties, by pre-signing cheques without adequate monitoring of their use and letting mismanagement slide.

The report says Ms Samuels used Board funds to pay for personal newspaper announcements, phone cards and airfares.

The Audit Director, Allen Parker, says there were poor internal controls, and referred the matter to the police.

In a letter responding to the review in November last year, Mr Rangi said Ms Samuel's father had repaid the outstanding amounts.