The National – Tuesday, February 15, 2011
ENVIRONMENT and Conservation Minister Benny Allan has forgiven politicians who have smeared his name over financial mismanagement claims levelled against the department in two reports by international consultancy firm Deloittes.
He said the attack on him by Bulolo MP Sam Basil was irresponsible and was an attack on his reputation that was damaging.
“However, I will forgive him and tell Papua New Guinea that I have not sighted the Deloittes reports and, when I do, I will decide my next course of action,” Allan, who is Unggai-Bena MP, said last night from Goroka.
The minister had been away from Port Moresby soon after parliament met this year to elect Michael Ogio as the ninth governor-general of PNG.
He said trust and financial accounts were administrative matters that were dealt with at the departmental level.
“I do not give directions on how the department spends the funds allocated by the national government and donor agencies. That is something left with the secretary and department,” Allan said.
“I cannot be compared with the secretary; ministers do not sign cheques as they are administrative matters.
“I do not compromise with any of my departmental staff or the developers, and I want the Bulolo MP to know that.
“My record speaks for itself, both, at the district and department levels,” he added.
“I have forgiven Basil and will; assure the people of PNG that I will decide on what to do after I have seen the reports by Deloittes.”
The reports from the consultancy firm painted a highly critical picture of waste, mismanagement and lack of financial accountability within the Department of Environment and Conservation.
The reports were also posted on the internet.