Former AG wants action on reports

National, Normal

The National – Thursday, June 23, 2011

IMPORTANT reports like those from the auditor-general and other Public Accounts Committee have been swept under the carpet, former attorney-general Dr Allan Marat says.
He said the reports contained serious allegations of misuse of public funds and, “the government should not sweep them under the carpet without consideration and action”.
He said PNG had been ranked by many international reports as one of the most corrupt nations in the world and “they have been reflected through the reports and the inability to prosecute offenders”.
“Many of us here (in parliament) talk and preach about transparency and accountability but we are hypocrites and collude with public servants to steal public funds to start businesses,” he said.
He said the reports should be taken seriously and action taken to prosecute offenders.
Marat said parliament should legislate to empower the auditor-general to prosecute offenders based on the report.
He expected the amendments to be made by the end of the year or by the end of the term of parliament.
The matter was brought up by Eastern Highlands Governor Malcolm Kela-Smith, who asked the government to allocate more funding to investigation and prosecuting agencies to execute the reports.
Sir Arnold Amet said like the PAC report, the auditor-general’s report “contains deficiencies in the public accounting systems with much money being misused and embezzled by public servants and needs to be addressed”.