Chairman defends election expenses

National, Normal

The National, Friday 12th April, 2013

 CHAIRMAN of East New Britain for Peace (ENBAFP) organisation John Watmelik has defended his community-based organisation’s (CBO) work and expenses from an election grant. 

Allegations of unjustified expenses and questions were raised in public by the ENB provincial election steering committee and outgoing election manager Terence Hetinu. 

Watmelik expressed disappointment and said claims made lacked consultation with the organisations that formed the CBO.

He said the allegations tainted the awareness work that ENBAFP had done in the Rabaul district for last year’s election.

Watmelik said the ENBAFP was awarded a contract for K20,000 and not  K15,000 as claimed. 

He said the grant was split, K10,000 was given first and then K6,000, with K2,000 used as CBO management fee. 

He said the ENBAFP conducted a successful awareness programme within the district in partnership with four LLG managers.

Watmelik maintained that progressive reports on their performance were given to the PNGEC awareness branch and AusAID electoral support programme and copied to Hetinu.

He said his CBO was not legally bound to the ENB provincial election steering committee and the provincial awareness sub-committee since the awareness programme was not funded by the ENB provincial government. 

However, he appreciated that PESC and PASC played a facilitative and participatory role in the process. 

Watmelik wants the ENB PESC/PASC chairpersons to convene an urgent PASC meeting to clarify any misunderstanding.