By LUKE KAMA
A SENIOR officer and two employees of the National Identity Office are under investigation over the illegal issuing of birth certificates outside the official national identification registry system.
The two employees, one of whom is the son of an officer at the NID Office, are already in custody at the Boroko Police Station in Port Moresby. The senior officer, believed to be behind the “syndicate” which also involves people from outside the NID office, is expected to be arrested soon.
Acting Registrar-General Michael Kumung told The National yesterday that “certain people employed in the NID Office had been using their positions and the office they were occupying to engage in corrupt dealings and steal from the people and the Government”.
He said the birth certificates were produced at the Boroko NID office but had the “entry number” for Wewak.
“We have a NID office in Wewak but it is not operational yet to process applications for birth certificates and NID cards,” he said.
“The birth certificate is printed only by our system with secured security features.
“How it ended up in the streets for some people to make business (out of it) is a serious issue.
“Those (officers) implicated will face disciplinary action.”
It is understood that the officers and outsiders involved in the activity charge fees to people who wanted the birth certificates produced outside the official ID system.
Kumung said establishing the NID project had cost the government around K231 million “in terms of rolling it out effectively and efficiently to produce birth certificates and the NID cards and issue them to our people”.
“But the problem is that some people are not safeguarding and following the system to do the job they are supposed to be doing,” he said.
“They get paid from the government and are abusing their office to engage in corrupt dealings to steal again.
“These sort of people we need to get rid of to clean, revive and strengthen our NID system.”
Kumung said the birth certificates contained all the security features and were signed and stamped by the deputy registrar-general, and ready for collections.
By LUKE KAMA