Budget blowout mystery

National, Normal

The National, Thursday October 31st, 2013

 EAST Sepik Governor Sir Michael Somare is calling for a manpower audit in the province as a result of an alleged budget blowout in salaries.

In a letter to the Public Service Minister, Sir Puka Temu, Sir Michael said the cost of salaries for public servants and teachers for this year’s financial year was K20,065,200 and K40,395,100 respectively. “As of the pay period Oct 12, payments made to public servants amount to K16,206,662 and teachers, K32,627,122.

“However, for reasons unknown to me, the actual salary expenditure on Oct 12, is K53,019,687. This is an excess K4,205,903.

“I am asking my provincial administration the reason for the salary expenditure blowout and further, why this information was not made known to me officially.”

He said from a quick glance at the information before him, it appeared that people who had died were still being paid and public servants who had resigned to contest the general elections were still on the payroll.

He said others who supposedly had been retrenched were on the payroll as well.

Sir Michael met with Sir Puka earlier this week and discussed the disconnection between national and provincial functions that were a real obstacle in project implementation and service delivery in the province.

Sir Puka assured Sir Michael his department was working seriously towards human resource transfer to provincial governments to address the issue.