Friday, 20 September 2013 8:36 AM

Eight Sacked Over Health Funding Fraud

Eight Solomon Islands public servants are reported to have been fired over a US$1.4 million dollar government fraud.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports the discovery of financial irregularity within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has shed more light on a fraud ring within government ministries and more people are likely to be sacked.

Finance ministry officials detected transaction irregularities in the Health Sector Support Program funded by AusAID while undertaking a standard risk assessment of the government’s financial management information system.

The assessment found that government contracts allocated under the programme inflated freight service charges and shipping charters by three to four times the normal price.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says as part of a range of measures to stop further misconduct, certain provisions will be amended immediately to prevent ministerial accounting officers from waiving procurement procedures.

Watchdog groups that are active on social media state that this is just a “tip of the iceberg,” as the collusion between officials and business houses is prevalent and well known.

They are calling on the government to look at other key government ministries such as the ministry of infrastructure, and conduct similar assessment.

 

With Radio New Zealand International

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