Curator questions payout to ex-soldiers

National, Normal

The National Monday, December 13, 2010

THE acting public curator and the official trustee of the state, Julius Pololi, has questioned the legality of payout made to the deceased ex-servicemen of the PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) between the first and second week of this month.
The National reported in past weeks that PNGDF started paying out entitlements of a batch of ex-soldiers.
It is also known that a good number of those ex-servicemen whose names were on the list that was published in the newspapers have since died.   
The list and notice put out by the government  pointed out that relatives of a deceased ex-serviceman could claim on behalf of the deceased with correct paper work.
It is this that Pololi is concerned about.
He questioned the legality of PNGDF to distribute deceased inheritance which included payouts to relatives of ex-servicemen who died without signing a will for their family members.
“The office of the public curator was established by an act of parliament to administer all deceased estate matters within the country and abroad for nationals who are living overseas.
“It is the only legal established body in the country that is responsible for the administration of deceased inheritance and trust matters for people who cannot manage their own affairs,” he said.
He told The National that what worried him most was the legality of the matter and whether the state allows for duplication of roles and functions of the office of the public curator and official trustee.
“The PNGDF hierarchy should point out whether the payments for deceased ex-servicemen were done legally as mandated by the Defence Force Act,” Pololi said.
He admitted that the media publicity over the years of mismanagement by the public curator’s office was a thing of the past.
He added that people must now have some confidence in the administration of the office.
He said that the office now had a proper and efficient system in place to assist beneficiaries have access to information on inheritance matters.
Pololi said the recent organisational restructure and realignment exercise carried out by the department had rectified areas that needed adjustment.
And he also said that the public should now have confidence in the services delivered by the office of the public curator.