TIPNG raises concerns over PAC findings

National, Normal

TRANSPARENCY International PNG (TIPNG) is gravely concerned with the findings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reports.
The reports document the collapse of the Governments’ financial management systems and provide further evidence of a complete lack of accountability within the public service.
TIPNG chairman Peter Aitsi said: “It is very sad to learn from the PAC that from the 1,000 inquiries carried out by the PAC into the operations of various Government agencies, hospital boards, and trust accounts, most have not complied with lawful requirements.
“The Government must wake up. The PAC has sounded the alarm and the National Executive Council (NEC) must address this situation as its highest priority.
“We understand the various PAC reports have been sitting with the NEC gathering dust.
“If this is true, then indeed this is a cause for national shame.”
He said it was totally unacceptable that the Government, particularly the NEC, turned a blind eye to the reports.
“What does it tell our people when one of the highest decision-making bodies in our country allows public money to be mismanaged and stolen.
“It creates doubts and the people are asking, don’t they care? Are they involved?
“This state of affairs suggests the Government has no respect for the people it is sworn to serve and is certainly not serious about ensuring that proper procedures and regulations, particularly the Financial Management Act, are adhered to by all agencies in a transparent manner,” Mr Aitsi said.
He said such lack of action by the Government continued to feed and encourage more unlawful practices, translating into non-delivery of goods and services to ordinary Papua New Guineans.
The PAC reports and the statement issued must resonate with the key people in Government that we are heading on a dangerous path.
In the words of the PAC member and Eastern Highlands Governor Malcolm Kela-Smith, the loss of public funds as a result of corruption could be as high as K3 billion kina.
“If these corrupt networks are able to steal K3 billion of public money within our current economic levels, how much more are they likely to steal when the revenue for the LNG start flowing if we do not take firm and decisive action to fix our Government systems?
“As a ray of hope, TIPNG commends the five best performing Government organisations over the last five years,” he said.
They are the Bank of PNG, the Institute of Public Administration, Goroka and Alotau hospital boards and Post PNG.
TIPNG commended the organisations that had managed to fulfil fiscal management requirements under the Public Finance Management Act and encouraged their managers and staff to keep up the good work.