By MALUM NALU
MORE than K50 million worth of donations and financial assistance from National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) Community Benefit Fund (CBF) Trust up to Dec 31, 2014 were not supported with any form of acquittals or reports.
This is according to the Report of the Auditor-General 2015 which was tabled in Parliament last week by Deputy Speaker Aide Ganasi.
Permanent Public Accounts Committee chairman John Hickey moved that Parliament take note of the paper and that it be referred to his committee. The report said more than K62 million was paid out under the fund of which more than K50 million was not properly accounted for.
“Donations totalling K62,124,144 had been paid out and committed for various purposes during the year,” Auditor-General Philip Naug said in the report.
“However, I have noted that K50,498,674 worth of donations/financial assistance were not supported with any form of acquittal/reports.
“Consequently, I cannot confirm the validity of the respective payments as there was no confirmation whether the payments were for the intended purposes, and the objectives of the payments were achieved.
“I also noted that there was no follow-up or actual status established on prior outstanding acquittals worth K14.3 million.
“The board of trustees also did not have a tracking, monitoring and compliance system to do physical random checks to ensure donations were utilised for intended purposes and benefit the communities.”
Naug said his review of the fund noted that there was no gazettal of the trust deed, no reference to the Public Finance management Act, who could apply for assistance, the acquittal needs, investments and accountability.
“A number of payments (donations) were made on account of Prime Minister’s commitments and approvals by the Prime Minister, based on written memo requests,” he said.
“However, I was unable to obtain direct confirmation to confirm the correctness of the approvals by the Prime Minister.
“There were instances of donations made without being recorded in the CBF register.
“There were also cases of funding made without proper CBF applications (s).” The fund is managed and operated by a board of trustees comprised of the NGCB and four additional trustees as members.
It is established to provide for and apply the income and capital of the trust fund towards generally-charitable purposes including alleviation of poverty, advancement of education, sports development and other purposes beneficial to the people of PNG.
It is also tasked to undertake research into problems associated with gambling, and to promote community awareness and education in respect of problem gambling.
By MALUM NALU