The National, Tuesday August 6th, 2013
THE New Ireland provincial government is prepared to compare its annual provincial budgets since 2007 to the previous Ian Ling-Stuckey regime of 2002-2007, Governor Sir Julius Chan says.
He cautioned New Irelanders “not to be fooled by deliberate, downright lies concocted by opportunists who have ulterior, hidden agendas and self interests”.
Sir Julius said since his election in 2007, and re-election in 2012, his administration had “tirelessly worked to resuscitate the lifeless public service and run-down dilapidated infrastructures left behind by former Governor Ling-Stuckey and his cronies.
“Under the Ling-Stuckey government, New Ireland was run right down with budgets prepared outside of the public service and provincial assembly,” he said.
“There was very little for service delivery, 24 aid posts closed, base camps in ruins and the public service structure being sidelined leaving appalling state of basic essential services.”
Sir Julius was responding to claims by New Ireland National Alliance branch president Joel Saruka that the NIPG had “paid K10 million to foreigners and bankers since 2007”.
“Saruka is ignorant of the provincial budget system,” he said.
“All expenditure under my government is 100% budgeted for and approved by the provincial assembly, properly prepared and deliberated by the provincial executive council.
“The alleged K10 million in question represents K2 million a year for legal fees and yes, consultants, whose work has already brought increased revenue, back payments of national funds due and will bring NIPG K500 to K600 million each year.
“The net return for my province far exceeds the money spent. Just one lawyer in Port Moresby would charge several million each year so by comparison it is peanuts.
“New Ireland province budgets the highest for service delivery to the people and the lowest for headquarters costs,” Sir Julius said.