‘Officers stole money from AIDS council’

National, Normal


THE National AIDS Council is taking legal action against officers who applied and misused allocations from the AIDS funds.
Council chairman Sir Peter Barter said many officers had amounts ranging from K500 to K29,000 paid to themselves.
They spent this money on personal items.
“The council has been in chaos for the past four to five years and is now recovering.
“As part of the recovery process, the council is restructuring, and those who have been abusing the system and applying funds for personal use, will be replaced,” he said.
Sir Peter said many of the fraudsters were no longer employed by the council and was in the process of taking legal action against officers found to have been involved in fraud.
They would be required to repay what they stole, he said.
“During my term, I put a stop to overseas travels unless necessary. Much of the money comes from international donors and the funds should be used wisely and acquitted,” he said.
This year, the  Australian government has committed more than A$40 million to fight HIV/AIDS in PNG.
“As chairman of the NAC, I’m very grateful for all the funding that we receive from our partners like AusAID and Global Fund,” he said.
Sir Peter and Health Secretary Dr Clement Malau said the public debate and criticisms on the use of condoms were outrageous.
They said the use of condoms was 99.5% safe.
They did not agree with a religious leader’s claim that condoms promoted promiscuity and that it was also the cause of an increase in AIDS/HIV infections.
They said it was a matter of cultural complexity and behaviour that was the cause of the rise in HIV cases in the country.