Tough stand against fraud taken


The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) will be taking action against officers manipulating its public service payroll system for personal gain.
ABG Minister for Public Service Robert Hamal Sawa said he would not tolerate such behaviour and was placing all public servants on notice that those found to have engaged in illegal practices would face the full weight of the law.
This follows evidence gathered by the Bougainville administration of certain public servants manipulating the payroll system to pay themselves at levels which they were not entitled to.
“I am also concerned to learn that some recent recruitment processes have not been followed due process,” Sawa said
“I have therefore instructed the acting Secretary for Personnel Management to take immediate action to revoke suspected appointment and to implement a new open, transparent and merit-based process.
“In the meantime, I have asked the (Bougainville) Chief Secretary to request urgent support from the national Department of Personnel Management in addressing the recruitment and payroll matters.”
This includes implementing centralised processes to prevent unauthorised payroll changes from being made and support in undertaking a comprehensive audit of the payroll system so that irregularities can be identified and future safeguards be put in place.
As a first step to curbing this problem the acting secretary has arranged for the locks to the payroll premises to be changed.
The department will also be implementing a comprehensive reporting arrangement with the direction that any future changes to the payroll operational matters will have to be approved by the acting secretary personally.
Sawa has also requested the acting secretary to seek urgent legal advice regarding the suspension of officers implicated in fraud whilst the audit process proceeded.
“As minister I will not tolerate these activities and I assure the broader public service and general public that immediate action will be taken to address these serious issues,” Sawa said.

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