Double-dip allegations under investigation

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ALLEGATIONS of corruption in the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations (DLIR) raised in Parliament are under investigation by the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate (NFACD), director Chief Supt Matthew Damaru says.
Damaru said yesterday that his office had a detailed complaint that was raised by Unggai-Bena MP Benny Allen in Parliament on Aug 22 which alleged double-dipping and breach of contract in awarding a contract worth K400,000.
The contract was for the instalment of an information, communication and technology (ICT) project for the department at the main headquarters (Gaukara Rumana) in Port Moresby.
The project was awarded to a company that was managed by senior officers within the department.
Allen, who had the copy of the file that was submitted and registered on Nov 30, 2020, with the NFACD, said in Parliament in August that there were serious allegations of systematic corruption such as double-dipping and cheques signed for equipment that was undelivered.
“All files are with police, but nothing has been done,” he said.
Prime Minister James Marape expressed his disappointment that NFACD had apparently neglected Allen’s complaint.
“Police, you do not need the police minister to tell you to do your job.
“Why are you waiting for a member to ask a question on the floor of Parliament?
“When an issue of corruption comes, you get up and do your job.
“In many cases, files on corruption remain on the shelf of the police and Labour is a sensitive department that protects workers in the country.”
Marape said while corruption was an issue that the Government was committed to fighting, particularly within government offices, he did not see why the police were sitting on files that needed to be investigated immediately.
“I am pleased that a whistleblower is using the Whistleblowers Act to report corruption within a department,” he said.
“We do not tolerate corruption within our rank and file, and within the Government.”