Auditor-General silent on corruption in NHC


For so long and on many occasions things have been highlighted in the media about the mismanagement and corruption at the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
It is now quite apparent that this very important statutory body of the National Government is coming to a stage of insolvency, meaning it has been milked away right down to the bones.
It appears that most houses in the urban centres have been given away, sold or even grabbed illegally.
The worst part of this story is that the National Housing Corporation is organised in way to reflect itself like an organisation faced with cash flow problems and managed by people with lower competency levels.
Behind this false picture corruption is taking place.
Let’s look at sale of houses for example. Houses are being sold every year without having a reconstruction programme.
At one time, all houses in the major towns and cities were constructed by the Department of Housing and Urbanisation.
When the National Housing Corporation was established, there has never been a housing development programme.
People just get appointed to the positions and simply sell of whatever that is available.
This is simply unsustainable.
This is the very reason why there is an acute housing problem in PNG with the real estate industry hiking its prices to levels that are, for many citizens of PNG, too high to afford.
While everyone is shouting to the government to fix the problem at NHC, many Papua New Guineans are asking what is the Auditor General doing.
We want someone independent to come out and tell what is actually wrong.
It is not transparent for the prime minister and the members of the National Executive Council to appoint an investigation team to look at the rot at NHC because they are part of the mess.
There is a Minister for Housing and there is a CEO who has been appointed by the NEC, which implies that any team appointed by the PM or cabinet lacks transparency and would not be expected to deliver a reliable and impartial report.
So the Auditor-General should take the initiative and do the investigation, using all the powers given to him by the constitution.
We understand that the Auditor General has specific roles mandated by the Constitution, however, we the citizens of the PNG would like to see the Auditor-General focus its attention and resources in revealing corruption.
Can the Auditor-General do a report to Parliament about the affairs at NHC?
Otherwise the Government is seen to be  making a mockery of the Auditor-General’s Office in appointing their own investigation teams every time there is an outcry of corruption.

Jacob Kom,
Port Moresby

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