29 Oct 2020

Cooks opposition calls for clarity over govt finances

12:07 pm on 29 October 2020

The Cook Islands opposition has said the government's failure to satisfy the audit division over its annual financial report is extremely critical.

It said immediate steps must be taken to stop it recurring.

The opposition is laying a formal complaint with the Parliamentary Accountability Committee and the Public Expenditure Review Committee.

Leader Tina Browne said new measures are needed to ensure the Ministry of Finance cannot stop Audit from doing its job and verifying tax revenues and government assets.

She said the Minstry itself cannot be relied on to fix this problem since it's been on repeat since 2014.

Cook Islands opposition leader, Tina Browne

Cook Islands opposition leader, Tina Browne Photo: supplied

Ms Browne also said the removal of audit reports from the Ministry website for the past five years is very concerning.

She said it can only mean the reports are damning of the government's questionable financial statements.

Ms Brown said every Cook Islander should be able to access that information, but the government is again eroding their democratic rights.