Commission forms committee to clear funds

National

THE Ombudsman Commission has formed a working committee to work with relevant government agencies to ensure requests for funding are cleared after due compliance with applicable laws, guidelines and financial intuitions.
The committee consists of the Ombudsman Commission, the Department of Finance, National Planning and Department of Implementation and Rural Development.
Ombudsman Richard Pagen said the commission had been issuing directions since 2002.
He said the 2002 and 2007 directions were complete freeze where the MPs, joint district planning and budget priority committees or joint provincial planning and budget priority committees could not access the funds until the writs were returned.
“We did a complete freeze until writs were returned,” Pagen said.
“In 2012, it was a conditional freeze where the district administration and the district treasurer and the provincial treasurer come with their claims accompanied with the requirements or compliance part where we cleared them.”
Pagen said funds kept in the operational accounts were not meant for development, they served a different purpose.
“The development funds should be kept in the DSIP or PSIP accounts not district treasury accounts or provincial accounts.
“Members need to take note that there are cases, and the current laws of Papua New Guinea restrict the leaders from bribing and the use of these DSIP and PSIP funds to lure voters.
“The current direction is conditional freeze where the district authorities and provincial authorities take their claims to the department of finance through the provincial treasury or district treasury and finance officers.”

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