Lack of audit raises concern


TRANSPARENCY International PNG has raised serious concerns on the Government’s lack of follow through on its promise to conduct and table a proper audit of Covid-19 state of emergency funding.
TIPNG chair Peter Aitsi said with the August sitting of Parliament commencing this week, the Government had 21 days left to produce and table in Parliament a report on SOE expenditure, as required under Section 8 (3) of the Emergency Act 2020.
Aitsi said an announcement by Police Minister Bryan Kramer last month on the completion of an internal audit report covering K45.3 million in funding released to the Health Department raised a number of questions:
l What about the funds and emergency supplies donated, given or otherwise injected into Covid-19 emergency response operations (figures TIPNG based on available public records indicate an estimated total value of these external contributions at approximately K145 million)?;
l If not the Emergency Controller, then who is responsible for reporting on this additional tranche of funding?; and,
l Why did the Government not use an independent external auditing firm? “TIPNG has not been able to see a financial report which comprehensively captures all the various contributions (funding and in kind) provided by both the international and domestic community in supplementing government allocations for Covid-19 emergency response operations,” Aitsi said.
“Our country has seen the overwhelming support and contributions made by international and national organisations to Covid-19 emergency operations since February.
“These contributions are all publicised on both mainstream and social media.
“However, as it stands, the government has yet to fully account for the total value of resources received and expended under the Covid-19 SOE,” he said.