By FRANK SENGE KOLMA
PUBLIC funds totalling K8 million has disappeared without a trace through the government’s Konebada Petroelum Park Authority.
This money was placed by political edict directly in the hands of private individuals, companies and consultants who operated outside the ambit of the government’s audit system and quite contrary to the Public Finances Management Act.
The whole concept was an executive government decision and was never supported by law.
These were among a litany of errors, omissions, over expenditures and plain disappearances of money on a grand scale reported by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to Parliament at its May sitting.
The park concept received and spent K29 million, one third of it without trace and of the known amount, 83% went to consultants.
Most significantly, the PAC has reported that there is nothing to show for all the big expenditure and the big talk.
The auditor-general has made the following findings – which were accepted by the PAC:
nThe Department of Petroleum and Energy did not compile, obtain or submit bank reconciliations for the Konebada Petroleum Park Authority working group trust account during the period May 31, 2007, until the time of audit in June 2008.
nKonebada Petroleum Park Authority working group trust account was operated outside the department’s accounting system. This was in breach of both the trust instrument and the PFMA.
nThe trustees and the head of the Department of Petroleum and Energy ignored the trust instrument.
nBank reconciliations of the trust account were not submitted for audit.