Agiru urges people to work with new SHP administrator

National, Normal

The National , Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SOUTHERN Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru yesterday called on public servants and politicians in the province to work with the new administrator instead of pointing fingers.
He made his comments in response to reports that some K20 million had been paid out from the provincial coffers under suspicious circumstances within three days.
A source said the payments were made when the dispute over the appointment of the provincial administrator was before the court.
A decision on that is expected to be handed down today by the Waigani National Court.
 “Why the big rush to make such huge payments in three days when all procurements processes were not followed?” the source asked.
Agiru said he was not aware of any money being paid out under suspicious circumstances.
He said because the budget had not been approved quickly, the provincial budget had not been implemented in the last five months.
“I have instructed the administrator, Lawrence Olkoben, to implement the budget speedily as the first quarter has been a waste.
“He is a very careful administrator and I expect all procurement procedures to be followed.
“Whoever is making these comments is politically motivated to discredit the administrator.”
The source called for better control on use of public funds.
 “What kind of authority do they have to make rush payments when such payments should go through the normal screening and verifying processes?
“SHP has come out of such a culture and better management and control was instilled with the  administration of administrator William Powi,” the source said.
Attempts to get comments from Olkoben were unsuccessful.