Morobe launches probe into K44m debt

National

MOROBE provincial government has launched an investigation led by former judge Don Sawong to probe into K44 million in debts incurred by the former Kelly Naru regime.
The investigation, codenamed ‘Kisim Bek Morobe’ (Take Back Morobe), is based on a provincial executive council resolution that appointed a team led by Sawong and lawyer Karo Gamoga to check all provincial government books.
The issue of spending by the Naru government has become a hot topic of conversation throughout Morobe.
Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu said yesterday that the team would investigate the spending of provincial services improvement programme (PSIP) funds and internal revenue from 2012 to 2017.
“Based on allegations, this team will explore to substantiate whether monies from the national grants (PSIP) and internal revenues were squandered, or have been hidden elsewhere beginning from 2012-2017 until the date I was sworn-in,” he said.
Saonu said cases among others to be investigated included the incomplete Tutumang (provincial assembly) building, Gerson-Solulu tertiary students’ scholarship, Markham peanut butter factory, and Christian church partnership programme.
“A clear example was why should service providers come and set up the haus krai (mourning house) amid the provincial assembly and administration buildings for a week?”he said.
“It means something is wrong somewhere.
“We needed to investigate, identify and rectify it by ensuring natural justice system takes its course.”
Sawong and Gamoga accepted before Saonu, deputy-governor Waka Daimon, Tewae-Siassi MP Kobby Bomario, government business chairman Manasseh Laina, and deputy administrators Kissu Lucas and Masayang Moat.
“We will  conduct the task as per required by provincial cabinet within three months to ensure if apt procedures in the Public Finance  Management Act, Supplies and Tenders Act and related laws were followed” Sawong said. He said that the report would be compiled and submitted with recommendations for PEC to deliberate on.

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