K2mil for medals

National, Normal

THE Government spent almost K2 million on medals, a funeral, a pool contest and a kickboxing tournament last year, expenditures which contributed to overspendin.
The Treasury Department’s 2009 final budget outcome (FBO) report showed K1,900,700 went to the Governor-General’s office for “purchase and supply of medals for the Queen’s honour ceremony”.
But the Governor-General’s official secretary, Tipo Vuatha, told AAP the spending on medals for its annual Logohu awards, bought in Brisbane, was too skimpy.
“If anything, it is not enough. We want to get more money for more awards,” he said.
“We bought more than 1,000 for all the different Logohu medals, as last year we ran out of the highest award,” he said. Recent recipients of Logohu medals included Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke.
The FBO report also listed K200,000 for a billiard and snooker championship and an equal sum for a kick-boxing title last April.
Funeral expenses for the late Northern province administrator, Monty Derari, cost taxpayers K202,000.
PNG recorded a recurrent expenditure of K4.17 billion last year.
This was K213.8 million above the revised budget estimates, partly due to Government agencies spending too much on payrolls, the FBO reported.
The report also showed that Higher Education Minister, Michael Ogio, was given K50,000 for a three-day conference in Malaysia.
The Attorney-General’s office received K1.5 million for a special hearing of the Wafi gold mine land disputes.
The Pacific Islands Forum, held in Port Moresby in January, cost K614,900 while the African, Caribbean and Pacific States-European Union joint parliament assembly cost K290,200.