Five outstanding State agencies win PAC’s praise

National, Normal

ONLY five out of 900 State agencies scrutinised by the permanent Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee performed well in the last four years.
“Of the hundreds of agencies we have examined, we can find only five agencies that maintained proper, lawful, auditable and reliable financial records,” PAC chairman and Nawaeb MP Timothy Bonga said.
When making the grim revelation yesterday at its first hearing for 2010, Mr Bonga, supported by PAC members Sam Basil (Bulolo MP), Fr John Garia (Simbu Governor), Malcolm Kela-Smith (Eastern Highlands Governor) and Philip Kikala (Lagaip-Porgera), said fiscal management and accountability in Government agencies had collapsed.
“The evidence we have shows that fiscal management and accountability have collapsed,” Mr Bonga stressed.
They collectively urged that something urgent needed to be undertaken to purge the Government systems and rekindle best practices to ensure service delivery and development were effectively pursued and achieved.
“Frankly, we are sick of hearing about failure, theft, incompetence, impunity and rampant financial mischief,” Mr Bonga said.
He said PAC had over the last 18 months undertaken a detailed examination of the standard of accounting and handling of public monies, property and stores in every agency of Government at all levels.
“We have inquired into nearly 1,000 agencies each examined the years 2003 to 2008, a huge and unique undertaking … and for the first time we can now give the Government an accurate picture of the nation’s financial management,” Mr Bonga said.
PAC records show that it examined 33 departments, 25 subsidiary agencies including 19 provincial treasuries, 19 provincial governments, 303 local level governments, more than 400 districts, 19 urban authorities, 19 hospital boards and 116 statutory corporations’ commercial entities and all trust accounts including royalty accounts.
The five “best performing” are:
* Bank of Papua New Guinea;
* Institute of Public Administration;
* Alotau General Hospital Board;
* Goroka Base Hospital Board; and
* Post PNG.
Mr Bonga and his committee heaped praise on the five agencies and commended their management for a job well done.
“The committee congratulates you all on your performance and we only hope your achievement is contagious so other agencies can catch it and improve.
“The five agencies are examples of accountability and transparency in the use of public finances. Our purpose is to give credit where it is due and also to encourage others to improve,” he said.
Representatives from these agencies who were present accepted the honour of being bestowed “best performing agencies” and vowed to maintain the record.